Kentucky Republicans held a post-primary rally at state GOP headquarters in Frankfort Saturday to show a united front for the fall. But despite claims of party unity, it appears the Republicans may have a few chinks in their armor.
The rally, which attracted around 200 people, kicked off with a video criticizing Gov. Steve Beshear’s handling of the economy, and suggesting Senate President David Williams is a better choice.
U-S Senator Rand Paul appeared via a video linkup, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was on stage. He called Williams smart, capable, a terrific debater and someone who knows exactly where to take the state. And McConnell says electing Williams would send the entire nation a message.
“The best way to stop Barack Obama and get Kentucky going in the right direction, all on the same day, is to elect David Williams the next governor of Kentucky!”
After praising his primary opponents and inviting the other Republican nominees for constitutional offices on stage, Williams began attacking Gov. Beshear. Williams, who turns 58 next Saturday, says he and running mate Richie Farmer are fit and ready for the fall campaign. In fact, he says he just got a physical.
“One of the first things that’s been in doubt, by the Courier-Journal and the Herald-Leader, was answered,” said Williams. “After a series of tests, they determined I do have a heart! And they knew I had a brain. And unlike Steve Beshear, I have a spine!”
Williams also criticized Gov. Beshear’s recent decision to stick with his economic development guests at the Kentucky Oaks, instead of joining President Barack Obama at Ft. Campbell. Obama was there to honor the Navy Seals who killed Osama bin Laden.
“There are some things more important than politics, and honoring those folks are more important than that,” said Williams. “Steve Beshear went to a horse race, because he was worried about his own race.”
Williams said he’s the Second Amendment and pro-life candidate, and often sounded a lot like a tea party candidate.
“It was the various states that created the federal government. The federal government did not create the states,” said Williams. “And this team here will go forward and challenge the federal government, Barack Obama and those who would shut down our coal industry and would shut down our agriculture industry and would impoverish our people and unconstitutionally force them to buy an insurance product that the federal constitution does not allow them to do. And we will fight them on every occasion! We will fight them!”
Williams insisted Kentucky Republicans are unified, but Phil Moffett, the tea party candidate who finished second behind Williams in the primary, didn’t speak at the rally, nor did he endorse Williams. Will he campaign for him?
“I don’t know,” said Moffett. “It depends on how the relationship builds and what he wants me to do and what that commitment means. But I honestly believe what I said when I say to you I would rather have David Williams as governor, than Steve Beshear.”
Another supporter of tea party principles who was handing out leaflets at the rally was Kathy Gornick of Lexington. Gornick, a registered Republican, says she opposes “career politicians who violate our rights and spend money recklessly.” So who is she supporting for governor? She hasn’t yet decided.