U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin brought day two of his campaign announcement tour to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah Thursday.
The Louisville businessman was born in Colorado and raised in New Hampshire. Bevin is hoping to unseat U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next May’s Republican primary.
Speaking before an audience of about 20 people, Bevin said it’s time for a new voice in Washington.
“After 30 years in Washington, what is clear to me and to many voters in Kentucky, is that Mitch McConnell has lost touch with our state,” Bevin said. “He’s lost touch with our people, and he’s lost touch with our values.”
Bevin criticized McConnell for his support of the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Patriot Act. He also accused McConnell of “working hard behind the scenes” in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Bevin acknowledged that McConnell presents a tough electoral challenge, but stressed the importance of ousting the five-term senator.
“Never in the history of U.S. politics has there ever been a Congressional leader in the House or Senate who has been defeated in a primary,” Bevin said. “It’s never happened. But the fact of the matter is, never has it been so important to make that happen.”
McConnell has already pushed back since Bevin’s formal announcement yesterday, calling his opponent “Bailout Bevin” in a YouTube video.
The bailout a references a $100,000 grant Bevin took from taxpayers to rebuild his business in Connecticut after it was destroyed by a fire. Bevin says this is all misinformation.
“The state came to the town at the request of people in the town and from around the state and said ‘We’re getting all these calls from people who want to do something to help save this company,’ said Bevin. "The town did not initiate the process. The company did not initiate the process. It was initiated by the state in reaction to people who were townspeople, and people around the state.”
Bevin says if he doesn't abide by the terms of the grant he would be forced to repay the money to the government. But, Bevin says, if he utilizes the grant as required his company will provide a larger return to the state in terms of wages and taxes.
Bevin and McConnel will get a chance to face off at next week’s Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County, as both men are slated to take the podium.