While calling the governor 'weak' and 'shrill,' Williams bemoans the tone the debate has taken

03/10/2011 06:27 PM

After a contentious week in Frankfort, Senate President David Williams said he was disappointed that Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has made the current debate over managing the Medicaid budget political and personal.

Williams, who is running for the GOP nomination to face Beshear in the fall election, then proceeded to call the governor “weak” and “shrill.”

And Williams later responded to the House Republicans — who disagreed with the Senate Republicans approach toward the Medicaid budget — by saying that caucus’ leadership essentially doesn’t matter.

But much of Williams’ rhetoric was aimed at Beshear, whom he calmly criticized for his handling of the debate over fixing the Medicaid budget.

“The governor is worried about the next election — he’s not worried about next year or the next generation, and it’s obvious he’s politicized the situation,” Williams said. “At every press conference that he has, he calls me out by name because he’s worried about the governor’s race. I’m not worried about the governor’s race.”

Beshear said during his Wednesday press conference that he placed the blame for the special session at the feet of Williams.

“Yes, the people ought to be outraged,” Beshear said on Wednesday’s press conference announcing his call for the special session.

Williams responded to a clip from Beshear’s press conference, saying it was “unfortunate” Beshear used a state-owned room in the Capitol to launch political attacks directly at him.

“The bottom line of it is that he is a weak governor who cannot manage this office. He cannot do it,” Williams said. “And now his voice is shrill.”

Williams also responded to the statement Republican Rep. Jeff Hoover of Jamestown sent out on Friday stating that the Republican House caucus opposed the Senate’s plan to cut education.

“I really don’t think that he understands the gravity of the situation we face,” Williams said of Hoover. “… The difference between the Republican leadership of the House and the Republican leadership in the Senate is that what we have to say matters.”

(Programming note: You can watch more of the interview with Senate President David Williams on Monday night’s edition of Pure Politics. Friday night’s edition will feature a wrap-up of the regular session and preview of the special session from two lawmakers, Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian and Republican Rep. Julie Raque Adams).

- Ryan Alessi


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