I was wondering if those are real coal miners in your commercials?
“Those are real coal miners in my commercial. Those gentlemen who were in the commercial last week just came out of the mine ... The other coal miner (from a separate commercial), he’s one that I really, really admire. There’s some controversy about him, some people said he wasn’t a coal miner ... In his case, he first went underground when he was 18 years old ... He did such a good job, and he was so persistent, and he worked so hard that he was promoted. He moved up the ladder and eventually, Heath Lovell was named the vice-president of his coal company. That is the American Dream. That’s why I want to celebrate the people like Heath Lovell. He’s exactly the kind of person who is a role model for every one of you.”
How can you tell which commercials are telling the truth?
“These advertisements are so confusing, and its very unfortunate ... What I would like to see in these campaigns would be a more substantive discussion — where we have debates ... It would be much more enlightening and informative to the voters if Congressman (Ben) Chandler and Andy Barr could stand on the same stage and talk about our ideas and solutions for solving these problems and debate on which ideas are better, and then answer questions for people — like I am today. I have tried to do that. My opponent won’t do that. I’m sorry about that. However, I think that’s the way to go in the future. To have more debates, more discussions, more question-and-answer — that’s a lot more informative than all these attack ads on television, that’s for sure.”
What are your thoughts on the coal issue?
“Just to the east of here, we have a lot of coal mines in Kentucky. We have a lot of families in Eastern Kentucky that depend on those jobs. It’s not just jobs for the coal miners that are important to save. It’s also the fact that coal provides low-cost electricity ... There are some concerns about the environmental impacts of mining coal. There’s also some people who want to see more renewable sources of energy. We need that too. We need all kinds of energy in this country ... And we do need coal, because coal provides over 90 percent of the electricity in Kentucky.”
If elected, what would you do to make Kentucky a better state?
“I think that the key to being a good leader for Kentucky is to listen to the people of Kentucky ... We’re going to have an accessibility initiative. Once a month, our congressional office will have office hours in every county of this district. There are 19 counties, including Madison County, we will have office hours in Richmond once a month, so you and your parents do not have to drive to Lexington or Frankfort. You will know that your congressional office will be here to listen to you and your ideas once a month. I may not personally be able to be here every single time, but our congressional office and staff will be here to get your ideas, to get your feedback, to try to answer your questions, and to help you with whatever problems you may have.”