But the most important of those, he said, is in Kentucky.
If you want to help us change America, it all begins right here in Kentucky,” McConnell said. “Every crazy liberal in America is sending my opponent checks. They think I’m the presidents’ biggest problem and I’m proud of that. On Nov. 4, Kentucky will lead the Senate.”
Before McConnell’s speech, much of the evening seemed more about Paul and the 2016 election than about McConnell’s this year.
With Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, sitting in the audience, Paul was introduced to the 600 on hand as “the next president of the United States” by Republican state Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer.
Paul’s message was about his own crusade. He talked about the need to “make the party bigger, better and bolder,” reaching out to minorities and young people who typically haven’t been sympathetic to the GOP.
Paul earlier Saturday helped open a Jefferson County Republican office in the largely African-American west end of Louisville, a continuation of his outreach to black voters. He knows – and said so Saturday – the party can’t win national elections without expanding its appeal beyond its usual conservative constituency.
For his part, Priebus called on the crowd to re-elect “the next Majority Leader of the United States Senate.” But he agreed with Paul’s assessment of the need for the GOP to reach out to minority and younger voters and spent much of his speech on that theme.
Priebus said his party is a good mid-term party but not as competitive as it must become in presidential elections. He called on Republicans to emulate Democrats’ grassroots efforts to identify and energize voters.
“We can’t just show up every four years and expect to win,” Priebus told the crowd.