The Richmond Register

Local News

September 5, 2012

Rogers, McConnell see similarities to 1980 election

SOMERSET — It won’t be hard for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to win this part of Kentucky in November’s election, despite reservations by some on the right that Romney’s positions have changed or his Mormon religion.

But the election will be decided in key swing states like North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Nevada.

“We’re good here. We’re good in Kentucky,” said Hilda Legg, longtime Republican activist who attended last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa. “My concern is how do we get our message out to urban voters and voters in other parts of the country.”

The message Republicans want to deliver was pretty clear to those attending a local chamber of commerce lunch at the Center for Rural Development where U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Fifth District, and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke.

The message to voters they say is the same as it was in 1980 when Republican challenger Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Both Rogers and McConnell supplied their own answer: no way — though they used a different set of measurements than supporters of President Barack Obama used.

Rogers said people are fearful about the future, caused by “fear of Obamacare, fear of higher taxes, fear of federal regulation that is strangling the coal industry.”

“In what way are we better off than we were a few years ago?” McConnell asked the crowd in this conservative, Republican bedrock.

Democrats, McConnell said, “have decided this week to argue we are better off than we were four years ago. You might be interested in some of the facts.” Unemployment is up (from 7.8 percent to 8.2 percent), he said, and so are gasoline prices, health insurance costs, college tuition costs and the federal debt, while middle-class income has declined, he said.

The question of whether voters are better off than four years ago was central to Reagan’s 1980 campaign and Republicans began resurrecting the question last week in Tampa. On Sunday talk shows, Obama surrogates were asked the question by reporters and generally ducked or mishandled it.

But as Democrats gathered Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., for their convention, Obama spokesmen offered a different set of facts to support their contention the country is better off: the stock market has more than doubled, job losses in the private sector have stopped and private sector employment is growing, the nation avoided a depression, the auto industry was saved and Osama bin Laden is dead.

McConnell and Rogers — and most of those at the chamber lunch Tuesday — aren’t buying it, however.

“The fact is, this is the most tepid recovery — if it is a recovery — in American history after a deep recession,” McConnell said.

He went on to say charges by Democrats of Republican obstructionism is “ridiculous talk. I would have loved to obstruct that, but we didn’t have the votes to do it.”

Time magazine’s Sept. 3 issue contains an article by Michael Grunwald entitled “The Party of No” in which Grunwald quotes then U.S. Republican Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, who said McConnell urged his caucus to oppose any Obama initiative from the first days of Obama’s term.

“If Obama was for it, we had to be against it,” Grunwald quotes Voinovich as saying.

McConnell said after Tuesday’s chamber address here he hadn’t read the Time article.

“The truth of the matter is (Democrats) had a choice in the very beginning if they wanted to govern from the center or from the left,” McConnell said. “They chose the left, so they had very little, if any Republican support.”

He said Obama had a second chance to “work with us” after the 2010 mid-term elections swept Republicans into the House majority, but he didn’t.

Asked specifically about Voinovich’s comments, McConnell said: “Well, George can speak for himself but, as I recall, he supported our position on every major issue.”

Rogers said the real indicators of how well the country is doing — income for middle class, gasoline prices, unemployment and under employment — show America isn’t better off than four years ago. He told the chamber crowd this year’s election increasingly reminds him of 1980 — “and I think we’re going to win it.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-17 4Hfieldday1.jpg 4-H Environmental Field Day

    Madison County fourth-graders participated in several hands-on activities Tuesday and Wednesday during the annual 4-H Environmental Field Day at the county fairgrounds.

    April 16, 2014 8 Photos

  • Hearing delayed on West Main zone change

    Signs giving notice of a public hearing on a proposed zone change at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue were not posted in time for the Richmond Planning Commission to scheduled a public hearing for its April 24 business session.

    April 16, 2014

  • Berea mulls break with Kentucky Utilities

    The city of Berea is considering whether to extend its contract with Kentucky Utilities or to shop around for another electricity provider.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-17 Melissa Lear.jpg BPD charge two in Richmond heroin-trafficking case

    Berea police arrested two women April 10 in a Richmond home in connection with heroin possession and trafficking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 MuseVisit4.jpg Theater students hear actor, Berea alum Muse Watson

    “I killed about eight or nine kids, about your age,” actor Muse Watson joked as a room full of high schoolers erupted in laughter Wednesday at Madison Southern High School.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results