Senator Rand Paul, Rep. Brett Guthrie, and Local Rep Michael Meredith Also Make Appearances
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Dozens came out to the Chalybeate Sports Complex today to show their support for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who made a last-minute campaign stop in Edmonson County.
Originally scheduled to be Warren County, the stop was re-routed to Chalybeate after organizers felt the location would be safer in Edmonson County, which has a much lower coronavirus rate.
McConnell fired up supporters under the horseshoe pavilion by talking about shutting down coronavirus, keeping the economy moving, and making sure Kentucky keeps a seat at the table in Washington.
Local State Representative Michael Meredith welcomed everyone and said this election is the most important in modern times.
"I think we've heard over and over again, throughout our lifetime, 'this is the most important election of our lifetimes,' but I think more so than ever, it's true this time," he said. "We've got important races all the way up from the state house to the Presidency of the United States and this is truly a year where we are fighting for the United States of America, folks."
He then introduced U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie, who talked about the bouncing back of the economy, getting America back on track, and other current affairs that affect those in southcentral Kentucky.
"Leader McConnell started the CARES package in his office that put billions of dollars into research," said Guthrie. "It's amazing that within a year of a pandemic, probably within weeks, we're going to have a vaccine. We're talking about rebuilding our economy--and we're already moving in that direction with what we did with the CARES Act, led by Leader McConnell, we saw yesterday a 33% increase in gross domestic product--we're coming back. But most important, we're fighting for the heart and soul of our country and we need to renew the American dream."
Rep. Guthrie introduced U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who also discussed getting America back on track while touting McConnell's leadership during the recent appointment of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. He discussed the importance of virtue in America.
"Knowing right and wrong--that's the backbone of our country, it's the backbone of rural America," he said. "There's probably no one more responsible for getting these picks to the Supreme Court--three Supreme Court Justices, over 200 federal judges, no one person in getting that done than our senior Senator, who I'm very happy to introduce, Senator Mitch McConnell," as McConnell took the mic to the chant of "we want Mitch."
McConnell began by echoing some of the sentiments from Rep. Meredith when he told the crowd he needed to make a confession about saying past elections were the most important in our lifetimes.
"I was wrong," he said. "These democrats we're up against today are not even like they were under Obama, and you can't find any moderate democrats like there were under Clinton. They're all gone and so this is our biggest election ever, because our view of what America ought to be is dramatically different."
McConnell said if his opponent were to be elected, her first vote would be to place Senator Chuck Schumer as the majority leader of the senate.
"Transferring power from Kentucky to New York? We're not letting that happen."
"We have a mission to save this country. The greatest country in the world from these people who want to redefine what America is. They want to turn it into a socialist country. They want to transfer all the power to Washington. And no one has done a better job of pointing out the advantages of individual liberties like Rand Paul. And we don't have a better member of the U.S. House than your Congressman, Brett Guthrie. And while we're handing out compliments, Michael Meredith, we're awfully proud of you as well."
McConnell then discussed the virus pandemic.
"This coronavirus is not going away until we kill it," he said. He then discussed the CARES Act, which he said was enacted to prop up the economy in the midst of the shutdown. "By the way, we're not going to do that again, that didn't work very well. We've got to keep the economy open, we've got to work through this coronavirus until we get a vaccine."
McConnell said he was speaking to a CEO of a major pharmaceutical company on the way to Chalybeate about a vaccine and said they were close to achieving that goal.
"We think we're going to get more than one, actually. Get them in record time, and get the doses out all over America, all over the world, and it'll be America's great pharmaceutical industry that does that. Look, we will not be defeated by this virus, but we will also not shut the economy down again."
"We still have significant economic problems, no question about it, (but) it never got as bad as the doomsday predicters said it would, and it's interesting to note, that the national unemployment rate right now is about what it was during several years of Obama's first term--so not good--but not catastrophic."
He then reminded the crowd that 50,000 Kentucky businesses were able to stay afloat during the shutdown with PPP loans as part of the CARES Act.
"We'll rise to the occasion, we'll defeat the virus, we'll move on with our lives and get back to normal and throw away the masks."
Every person in the crowd was masked and speakers only took masks off when they spoke at the mic.
"We'll live our lives the way we want to live them, not like some nanny-state where democrats run the government and tell us how to live."
He finished by saying that out of the four congressional leaders, he was the only one not from New York or California.
"I figure my job is to look out for middle America, to help Kentucky punch above it's weight," he said, as the crowd cheered.
He then encouraged everyone to vote between now and Election Day, which is November 3rd.
According to the U.S. Elections Project, more than 86 million Americans have already cast their vote. That is 67% of the total number of votes cast for both Trump and Clinton in 2016.