Using his first U.S. Senate race as an example, Mitch McConnell says David Williams can win

09/29/2011 11:01 AM

ELIZABETHTOWN — With a room full of business leaders listening this morning, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell gave a rousing endorsement of Republican David Williams’ chances at becoming Kentucky’s next governor, telling the crowd Williams can still win.

McConnell told the group that Williams was the “most prepared candidate” that has run for the governor’s office in his lifetime. And he praised Williams for his legislative ability as the state Senate president for the last decade.

And despite polls showing Williams down more than 20 points, McConnell said that he knows Williams can win based on McConnell’s run for U.S. Senate in 1984.

In August of that year, McConnell was down 20 points to former U.S. Senator Dee Huddleston, but was closing the gap in early October thanks to an effective ad criticizing Huddleston for missed votes in Congress. That “hound dog ad” is still referred to as the turning point in McConnell’s campaign.

With October around the corner, McConnell said Williams can make the same move in the polls that he did in 1984.

The event was organized by Williams’ campaign and included U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of the Second Congressional District as well as former state Senator Elizabeth Tori. The event was billed as a roundtable discussion about Williams’ jobs plan, which he released two weeks ago.

And after making his jobs pitch to the group of business people and elected officials, Williams launched into a story involving an advertiser for an Eastern Kentucky radio station.

And the moral of the story was that only Williams could pull Kentucky back into being a well-run state.

To borrow Williams’ phrase, McConnell said the best way to “save Kentucky” was not necessarily through re-electing himself or Guthrie into federal offices. Rather, doing so depends on electing Williams into the governor’s office.

And he repeated that he was confident that Williams would unseat Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear on Nov. 8.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston


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