Williams wastes no time in going after Beshear during nomination acceptance speech

05/17/2011 10:45 PM

David Williams used his first public speech after his 10-point victory in the GOP primary for governor to lay down his opening arguments against incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

And perhaps the biggest rhetorical wallop was his criticism of Beshear for not traveling to Fort Campbell on May 6 to appear with President Barack Obama, who thanked the troops for their role in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

“I’m not going to support Barack Obama for re-election next year — that’s a foregone conclusion. But he is the commander in chief of all our forces,” Williams said around the 5:30 mark in the speech. “And if he comes to Fort Campbell again to honor our brave troops, I’ll stand side by side with him to honor those troops because those troops are more important than the next election and being afraid to stand next to your nominee.”

Williams, who has built a reputation for being a tough campaigner that at times has trouble biting his tongue, alluded to that early in his remarks.

“There has been some conversation about what will be the tone and tenor of this campaign. And for those who are worried, no Mr. Nice Guy,” he said in self-deprecating fashion about 1:30 into the speech.

And Williams sought to reach out to one geographic region in which he has struggled: Louisville. He trailed Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw in that county, according to unofficial results Tuesday.

“To those that hear my voice in Jefferson County, we’re going to help you return local control and neighborhood schools to Jefferson County,” he said. “We must care more about the next generation than the next election.”

Williams mentioned attorney general nominee Todd P’Pool; winner of the agriculture commissioner primary, Jamie Comer; and treasurer nominee K.C. Crosbie. But he didn’t single out state auditor nominee John Kemper, who solidly defeated state Rep. Addia Wuchner Tuesday, or Bill Johnson, who holds a razor thin margin over Hilda Legg for Secretary of State.

- Video by Holly Thompson, summarized by Ryan Alessi

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