EDMONTON — Mitch McConnell had a straight-forward message for the 35 or so who showed up here late Saturday afternoon for McConnell’s campaign stop.
McConnell is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate seat he’s held since 1984 and faces Republican Matt Bevin in the May 20 primary. He’s an overwhelming favorite to win the primary and then square off against the Democrats’ primary favorite, state Secretary of State Alison Lundegan Grimes.
“Let’s recapture this country. I hope you want to take this country back,” McConnell said, speaking in the Metcalfe Circuit Courtroom. “Help me change this country.”
The best way to that, McConnell told them, is to “change the Senate,” not by electing a “new face for the status quo,” referring to Grimes, but by sending him back for a sixth-term.
It was pretty clear who McConnell thinks has hijacked the country – Democratic President Barack Obama who lost Kentucky twice by wide margins. The first African-American president remains widely unpopular in Kentucky.
“These people (in Obama’s administration) don’t understand how we live,” McConnell said, speaking in this town of about 1,600 which is county seat to Metcalfe County with a population of about 10,000. “They’re all college professors and community organizers.”
(Republicans often mock Obama’s experience as a community organizer in Chicago before entering politics.)
“An administration that will send the IRS after you – not for tax cheating but for speaking up – is an administration that needs to be stopped,” McConnell said, referring to Republican claims the IRS targeted conservative non-profit groups which raised money for political ads.
The only way to do that this year, said the Minority Leader of the Senate, “is to change the Senate. If you want to change the country, my friends, then change the Senate” where Democrats hold a 53-45 edge with two independents caucusing with Democrats for a 10-vote margin.