But Davie Greer, who has supported McConnell in the past, told Bevin he faces a tough task. “You’ve got an uphill battle,” she said, explaining she values the power McConnell has amassed as he’s gained seniority in the Senate and become Republican Minority Leader.
“I do,” responded Bevin without hesitation, but then launched into his case. “But what has Mitch McConnell done for you?”
Greer said McConnell has “done a lot.” Asked for specifics, she mentioned help in locating an extension campus of Western Kentucky University in Glasgow and said the Republican senator has directed federal spending to the area – at least before the era of earmarks ended with the ascension of the tea party with which Bevin is allied.
“So, since earmarking ended, since we stopped spending money we don’t have, what has (McConnell) done?” Bevin asked. He suggested Republicans could start to change things by electing him and “no longer expanding government at every turn.” McConnell, he said, is too much a Washington insider.
“You can’t spend 30 years without being beholden to somebody,” Bevin said, referring to McConnell who is seeking a sixth term next year.
Bevin then moved onto “Obamacare,” his term for the Affordable Care Act, a law also opposed by both Greers, saying, “In reality, we’re trying to fix a problem with another problem.”
Asked what he’d propose as an alternative, Bevin offered standard Republican prescriptions: allowing insurance companies to sell polices across state lines, tax breaks for personal savings accounts and tort reform.
Bevin later said he doesn’t put much stock in “glad-handing, superficial” campaigning and by engaging individuals in substantive conversation about the country’s problems he can spread his message more effectively. Those people in turn will share his message with others and his message will reach a wider audience which will increase his support.