Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

August 3, 2013

McConnell talks tough on Obama

MAYFIELD — Mitch McConnell said the 2014 election for his Senate seat comes down to a simple question for Kentucky voters.

“This is not just an election about who is the senator from Kentucky,” McConnell told about 250 at Saturday morning’s pre-Fancy Farm breakfast at Graves County High School. “This is about who gets to set the agenda for America.

“Do we want Barack Obama’s America or do we want a Kentuckian’s America?” McConnell asked.

McConnell, who is seeking a sixth term, currently is Minority Leader in the U.S Senate and has hopes not only for re-election in 2014 but for a Republican takeover of the Senate which would make him Majority Leader.

McConnell faces a primary challenge from Louisville investment manager Matthew Bevin who has the backing of several – but not all – tea party groups. The winner’s likely opponent in the general election is Democratic favorite Alison Lundergan Grimes.

McConnell never mentioned her name Saturday morning. But he talked a lot about Democratic President Barack Obama, who won less than 40 percent of the vote in Kentucky in 2012 and carried only four of the state’s 120 counties.

McConnell said that makes it clear Kentucky doesn’t support the agenda of Obama and especially the Affordable Care Act which Republicans call “Obamacare.” He also made clear the rest of the nation, including Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, doesn’t love coal as Kentuckians do.

Together, those things are the case McConnell hopes to make for re-election. He wants to nationalize the race while Grimes and Bevin want to make the race about McConnell’s lengthy time in Washington and his voting record.

McConnell said the race is bigger than that.

“Unless you’ve been dozing off lately, you might’ve noticed we’ve got a race going on for the U.S. Senate,” McConnell said. That race will determine “what is America going to be like” – whether it will follow Obama’s direction or one McConnell wants to set.

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