But Davie Greer, who has supported McConnell in the past, told Bevin he faces a tough task. “You’ve got an uphill battle,” she said, explaining she values the power McConnell has amassed as he’s gained seniority in the Senate and become Republican Minority Leader.
“I do,” responded Bevin without hesitation, but then launched into his case. “But what has Mitch McConnell done for you?”
Greer said McConnell has “done a lot.” Asked for specifics, she mentioned help in locating an extension campus of Western Kentucky University in Glasgow and said the Republican senator has directed federal spending to the area – at least before the era of earmarks ended with the ascension of the tea party with which Bevin is allied.
“So, since earmarking ended, since we stopped spending money we don’t have, what has (McConnell) done?” Bevin asked. He suggested Republicans could start to change things by electing him and “no longer expanding government at every turn.” McConnell, he said, is too much a Washington insider.
“You can’t spend 30 years without being beholden to somebody,” Bevin said, referring to McConnell who is seeking a sixth term next year.
Bevin then moved onto “Obamacare,” his term for the Affordable Care Act, a law also opposed by both Greers, saying, “In reality, we’re trying to fix a problem with another problem.”
Asked what he’d propose as an alternative, Bevin offered standard Republican prescriptions: allowing insurance companies to sell polices across state lines, tax breaks for personal savings accounts and tort reform.
While the Greers seemed unpersuaded, Bevin found a more welcoming audience at another table where he talked to Jim Boyter, Boyter’s mother, Dona Rae Boyter, and his son, James Boyter.
The pitch was similar but the reception was warmer.
Dona Rae Boyter said she plans to vote for Bevin and had pretty much made up her mind even before he joined the family at the table.