Hillary Clinton, wrestling control of House from Democrats themes of RPK Lincoln Dinner

09/11/2016 12:15 AM

LEXINGTON — Republicans gleefully mocked Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during red-meat speeches at the Kentucky GOP’s top fundraising dinner Saturday evening.

Gov. Matt Bevin opened his remarks at the Republican Party of Kentucky Lincoln Dinner by pulling four small, empty baskets from behind the lectern.

“Hillary Clinton, she wants some of you in this basket,” he said. “This, I think, is for the Islamophobes and xenophobes, this basket is for the racists and sexists, this basket is for those of you that are the homophobes, I guess, and then this basket is for the deplorables. Half of you are the deplorables.”

That was a reference to Clinton’s comments at a New York fundraiser on Friday that half of Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables,” a remark she walked back the next day.

“You think about that kind of idiocy, you think about how ridiculous it is for somebody who wants to be the president of the United States describing a vast proportion of the voting population in such pejorative terms,” Bevin added. “We deserve better from top to bottom.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said those who have been satisfied with eight years under President Barack Obama should vote for Clinton on Nov. 8, “but if you think America can do better by taking a different direction, Donald Trump is the person we ought to be supporting.”

McConnell acknowledged the difficult electoral straits Senate Republicans face in retaining their 54-46 majority in the upper chamber, with GOP incumbents facing competitive races in states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

“When you say your prayers at night, not only pray for a Republican president who will take us in a different direction, but for a continued Republican majority in the U.S. Senate,” said McConnell, who is in his second year as majority leader following GOP gains in 2014.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, in a re-election battle against Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, spent much of his speech to the 525 attendees sticking to a familiar topic: criticizing Clinton’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during her time as secretary of state.

The dinner’s keynote speakers were Mark ‘Oz’ Geist and John ‘Tig’ Tiegen, two former Marines on the Benghazi security team who have also been critical of Clinton’s handling of the siege.

The pair, who have endorsed Trump, retold their experiences from that night. U.S. Rep. Andy Barr said he will be campaigning with U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi, in his re-election race against Democrat Nancy Jo Kemper.

“If I had been president, I would have relieved you of your office,” Paul said, referencing his comments to Clinton during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in 2013.

“Without question, by her dereliction of duty, by her lack of security, by her lack of wisdom, by her lack of judgment, it should forever preclude her from being president.”

After Geist recalled a mortar shelling that luckily ended before the building they were in toppled, he mused that “God has other plans for us.”

“And I think that’s to stop Hillary from getting elected,” he said.

Between jabs at Clinton, speakers also rallied the Republican audience to help put the House in GOP control for the first time in nearly a century.

“It’s kind of embarrassing that I’m the only southern senator in the Republican Party who can’t claim to have total control of the legislature,” McConnell said, “and we’re going to fix that this fall for this governor and this state, right?”

Bevin publicly thanked Republican fundraiser Jess Correll, co-founder and president of First Southern National Bank, and urged others to open their wallets and checkbooks for state House candidates, particularly those in eastern counties, and volunteer for campaigns.

“I’m asking you, please, with a sense of urgency, to step up and be engaged, to knock doors like you’ve never knocked doors, to make phone calls like you’ve never made phone calls,” the governor said. “You literally call RPK and ask for a list of 100 names of people that you can call in the days prior to the election.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.



  • viewer wrote on September 11, 2016 01:39 PM :

    Good Sunday afternoon, Cats fans. As I posted this time last Sunday, I repeat. It is just a game, and these are young student athletes doing the best they can.

    While watching the game yesterday, the announcer calling the game was left with a loss for words to describe what he was witnessing. He tried his best to muster up some commentary that wouldn’t offend the coaches, the players, the state of Kentucky itself, or possibly even CBS corporate for making this their national game of the week.

    Some take aways that I have noticed early this season. First, quarterback Drew Barker has been hit, and it has shaken his confidence. You can tell when a quarterback is hearing footsteps and wanting to release the ball as soon as possible. It is kind of like playing hot potato. Some quarterbacks never get that fear out of their mind. Until Drew Barker does, he needs to sit, and we need to go with back ups B or C. This doesn’t go away over night.

    On the defensive side, Matt Elam is a big kid. Huge kid, with a ton of potential. He has started the season out of shape, over weight and is standing straight up when the ball is snapped, which makes that 400 pounds easy to knock back. I think they are running him as nose guard, but he stays in the line backing area. This is more the coach’s fault than his own. Playing football myself, we had a kid like this. My coach told him to just fall down. Watching Matt Elam makes me wonder about this multi-million dollar weight room and why he wasn’t in it last winter. These players should already be in the best shape of the season, and that is not the case.

    The only bright spot that I have seen up to this point is Jordan Jones. That kid has a ton of talent and a heart to go along with it. Reminds me a lot of Randall Cobb.

    The friends I have inside UK athletics, only saw a 4 win season. The talent is just not there, and it is hard to have a football program, when you can’t recruit talent in your own back yard. The majority of talent we do have is from Florida or Ohio. This has been a problem with Kentucky football for years. We can get by with this in basketball because the sheer numbers are smaller and Kentucky is known for basketball, which helps our recruiting.

    Kentucky High School Association has not been ran properly from the get go. This goes from football to basketball to soccer, etc. The talent has not been properly trained and developed in this state. When is the last time, boys or girls beat Indiana in basketball? It has been years.

    Now to politics.

    The races that I would like the RPK to step in and help out with are Denny Butler, Wendy Fletcher, and John Blanton. These races can be won, if we get enough people involved.

    Races we should win, but we need further help… Susan Miles’ seat is in danger now with the events in the last month. David Hale… that race is going to be closer than people think, but he should still be able to pull it off. We can’t sleep on either of these races. Mostly, the contest with Miles.

    If we lose the race with Denny Butler, that will be a major loss for more reasons than just the seat. Denny Butler has substance and has had a huge impact in the General Assembly. If we lose this race, it is all on account of the GOP turning their backs on the middle class and the working poor. This Right to Work legislation that we are hell bent on pushing is nothing more than special interest overtaking common sense. Instead of talking abut Right to Work, we should be talking about trade agreements, welfare reform, and immigration. The GOP has suffered from getting into bed with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    Going back to our football team, these players, after the game, all had to answer questions from, reporters. Wouldn’t it be beneficial if our politicians and leaders were treated the same? Wouldn’t it be nice to see Sen. Joe Bowen interviewed on what is going on with the pension crises? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear Rep. Derrick Graham talk about where we find Kentucky’s educational system at today? What would Sen. Albert Robinson have to add about the drug epidemic and what his Public Safety Committee is doing to address it? How about Rep. Tom McKee being asked about the deflation of prices of commodities, like corn and soybeans?

    Yesterday when the announcers were trying all they could do to not put down our football team, I was thinking about how bad it looked. What would happen, if our political system was put on full display for all the world to see? All of the back door deals. All of the corruption. The incompetent leaders we have voted in. Hell, where but in Kentucky, would a school board president get caught hiring someone to take a GED test for him? It is a shame what we have done to our youth. The position we have gotten this state into. Many of these well healed individuals, at this fund raiser last night, have played a big role in this. Like with the Kentucky football players, they have their uniforms and are out there on the field looking the part, but most games they are over matched by talent from their opponents. Our football team has been exposed for years. Our political scene has been felt for years. One is a game, and one has real life consequences that are wreaking havoc all over this Commonwealth. The viewer.

  • viewer wrote on September 11, 2016 02:49 PM :

    Let me throw out a suggestion. It may be old fashioned and out of date, but a way we might be able to flip the House and change the trajectory that this state is on.

    We always hear that we need money. Send us money. More money. We raised X amount of dollars. We need X amount of dollars to finish this quarter. Money, money, money. That is all we hear.

    What about having the men and women, who are over these committees, come on CN2 and talk about what happens if we flip the House. What can change if we flip the House. What will change if we flip the House. There is no substance being talked about anywhere. Instead of asking for money, why don’t we ask our candidates to debate in order to show the differences between them? Why not explain issues in more depth? Has any republican candidate picked up the phone and called Nick Storm and volunteered for a debate? Does any candidate want to debate? Is there any substance to debate, if one were held?

    This week, I won’t mention his name, but there was a State Representative in 3 hearings held on 3 separate days. $600 plus mileage this man got. He never asked one question. He never made one comment, and this has been going on for years. We talk about being good stewards of taxpayer funds. Too many of these members of the General Assembly are using these hearings for what we used to call beer money. They are already retired, and these hearings just go to give them a little extra spending money. I am sorry, but that is the crux of the situation. I blame Stumbo and Stivers for allowing this to happen. They are getting paid to just show up. If it is a democrat or republican, I don’t care. If you don’t have something to add to help this state, for God’s sake, retire. We have a few carrying the majority in the General Assembly. These committee hearings don’t last but an hour, an hour and a half, at the most. Only in government is this allowed. This is one of the cause and effects for why everything is the way it is. This is $200 an hour. Come on people.

    Watching what is going on at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky is a small sample of how very few have taken control of everything. You can even throw in the debacle at the Kentucky Horse Park this week.

    What was behind the secrecy at the Horse Park has everything to do with our new P3 laws put in place by our General Assembly in the 2016 session. These individuals are trying to build a hotel out at the Horse Park. Jim Host wants to make sure that his friends will get this contract which will be a P3. So, Jim Host gets paid for consulting, etc. There is nothing illegal about what they are doing. The General Assembly passed this legal pay to play, so this is just the first signs of how this will go down going forward. The water you drink will be P3. If you drive more than 10 miles up the road, you are going to pay a P3 toll. Our government is broke. The same people who helped break us are going to take our taxpayer funds and have us pay them with whatever we have left over after paying the taxes on the debt that was incurred.

    Pay attention to Ron Butt and his departure at the University of Louisville Foundation. Mr. Butt might be a good guy. I don’t know. I have been around people like Mr. Butt for years. They are thin skinned. They don’t like to be questioned. They are better than everyone. Mr. Butt is an accountant by trade. He is a millionaire. So, when people start snooping around and asking questions about financial waste, fraud, and abuse this does 2 things to Mr. Butt. For one, it questions where was his expertise while everything was falling apart? Two, it could put into question, if any ill-gotten gains came back to Mr. Butt and his associates. How dare the public question the honor of a millionaire who we should be in awe of, that he would give his time to give back to the community. Gag. Mr. Butt doesn’t need to let the door hit him in the butt on his way out. He reminds me of those types in Trading Places with Dan Aykroyd. They are takers, feel-gooders. A big part of what is wrong with this state.

    Auditor Mike Harmon has been saying recently that he looks for the audit of the University of Louisville Foundation to be out this fall. Then, we hear others saying that the University of Louisville is not going to turn over any documents. What is Auditor Harmon going to release? Is this an audit or is this audit a scam, itself, being played on the public? If Ramsey is saying that they are not turning over any documents, what is Mr. Harmon’s audit about. He says follow the data. What data is being turned over to be studied? Mr. Harmon doesn’t know how close he is to getting himself into a situation that he is not going to be able to walk back from.

    Friends, I am seeing some corruption come up in the republican circles again. Many of the same players who took down the Fletcher administration are back at it again. They got by with it the first time. Now, I have total confidence in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI today. That was not the case during the Fletcher years. There were a lot of people taken care of. A lot of bad deals were never brought to court. This will stop, in both democrat and republican circles. The viewer.

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