Bevin seeks to separate himself from McConnell with three main issues in policy speech

01/09/2014 12:50 PM

LOUISVILLE — In his first speech of the year Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin tried to illustrate the philosophical gulf that lies between himself and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell ahead of the May primary.

Bevin told the nearly 100 supporters and gathered media in the Louisville Galt House that there are three major issues at the heart of the U.S. Senate race — and that those issues can provide contrast between himself and McConnell.

Accusing McConnell of “crony capitalism” Bevin said McConnell has been trading special favors for political donors. Bevin highlighted McConnell’s vote for TARP, throwing the “bail out” label back to McConnell.

McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore released a statement ahead of Bevin’s speech seeking to discredit his ability to speak on issues of policy.

“Matt Bevin doesn’t know who he is, where he went to school, what the Constitution says or the basic definition of ‘bailout,’” said Moore. “Mr. Bevin has made a life out of having a new story for every town but Kentuckians aren’t buying the traveling salesman’s laughable pitch that the New England finance man is a Kentucky conservative.”

While Bevin told reporters after the speech he had not seen the McConnell campaign’s attempt to discredit him he predicted what the response might be.

“It’s going to be more mudslinging, more childish and snarky remarks, more juvenile lies, more nonsense, more smoke screens,” Bevin said. “Senator McConnell we the voters of Kentucky are asking you – we are challenging you to live up to the dignity of the office that you hold.”

Bevin decried the attempts by McConnell and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’ to avoid talking about policy issues over the course of the campaign, saying the candidates “are acting like this is a race for eighth grade class president.”

Wrapping up the half-hour long speech Bevin made a pitch for a “new Republican Party” which he said is pro-small business, pro-jobs, pro-hard work, pro-individual responsibility and pro-family.

After the speech Bevin also told reporters that he believes McConnell’s use of political trackers which video tape Bevin’s remarks have been effective at intimidating elected officials who might support him.

“The beautiful thing is (McConnell) doesn’t have enough trackers to follow everyone of these people into the ballot box,” Bevin said. “You think these people don’t resent that? You think that these elected officials aren’t worried about being on a down ticket with Mitch McConnell at the top? You can bet your sweet-whatever that they are.”


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.