As is his recent habit, McConnell declined to take questions from reporters.
Bevin talked briefly with a couple of journalists. But he didn’t provide any clues about his plans, saying there’s really nothing to tell. When asked if he is at least considering a race, he hesitated and then said:
“When there’s a time and something to tell you, I’ll let you know.”
McConnell’s Republican Senate colleague, Rand Paul, was vacationing at Lake Cumberland with his family and didn’t attend.
He sent a video address in which he talked about issues “Sen. McConnell and I” have worked together on, from the Freedom to Fish Act to military issues. Unlike McConnell, Paul also harshly criticized the National Security Agency review of telephone records.
McConnell was preceded on the program Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr, state House Minority Whip John “Bam” Carney, state Senate President Robert Stivers and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
Comer — viewed by some in the party as a potential 2015 gubernatorial candidate — received a standing ovation and introduced McConnell.
Comer used one of his lines both to praise McConnell and hint at his own plans.
He said the “A-team” of the Democratic Party, referring to Gov. Steve Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and other Democratic office holders, chose not to challenge McConnell in 2014 and seem to think their prospects are better in 2015.
“But I’ve got some bad news for them — they’re not going to win that race either,” Comer said as the crowd cheered.
Barr hit on his usual themes, criticizing the size and spending of the federal government and the Affordable Care Act which he called “Obamacare.” Barr said the “lesson from the (2012) election is that Washington is worse than ever.”
He criticized the IRS and NSA controversies or scandals even more forcefully: “Tyranny is just around the corner.”