Five-term U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell took to the campaign trail on Saturday night, visiting Grayson County to give a speech to the crowd gathered for the annual Lincoln Day festivities at the high school.
Here is the text of that speech:
“It’s wonderful to be back in Grayson County. I’ve learned many things here over the years. The first year I ran I learned how to ‘mud bog.’ You all still do that at the county fair? It shows you how desperate I was for votes; I would do anything.
"They put me in a vehicle and I drove down a hill like a bat out of hell right straight into the mud. It took me a while to get it (the mud) out of my suit, but it was worth it because that was the first of five times I’ve carried Grayson County, and I’m going to do it again this year, right?
"I wish I could come here tonight, my friends, and tell you the state of America was good, but it’s not. We’re now going into the sixth year of the Obama administration. We’ve got more debt than we’ve ever had, and it’s a stunning amount – We now have a national debt as big as our economy which makes us a lot like a western European country.
"Look at it another way – Barack Obama has added more to the national debt than all the Presidents from George Washington to George Bush in one five year period. And of course, there’s Obama Care. The government has taken over health care: premiums are going up, jobs are being lost, hospitals are suffering under the reimbursement cut that came with Obama Care.
"So what is, at the core of this administration is that they believe we’re not smart enough to take care of ourselves. They think we’re a society of victims waiting to be taken advantage of by anybody who can make a profit. In fact, their attitude is, if you’re making a profit you must be up to no good; you’re cheating your customers, (or) mistreating your employees, or both.
"This has been the most hostile administration to job creation since at least Jimmy Carter. And how do you end up with jobs? By stimulating the private sector, not expanding the government.
"We’ve had enough of borrowing and spending and taxing and regulating, it’s time to go in a different direction, and let me tell you how to start doing that -- Elections have consequences, my friends, as you know, I’m the leader of the minority in the Senate, put another way, if you’re a sports fan, I’m the defensive coordinator. Now, you can score on defense, but it’s a lot harder. I want to be the offensive coordinator, I want to be the Majority Leader of the United State’s Senate. I want to lead America in a new direction and you can help me do that by starting right here in Kentucky this fall.
"You’ve got a great chance to do that. There are opportunities all across America that add up to a distinct chance for a new majority (in the Senate), and a new start for America -- A new Senate in 2014, and by the way, a new President in 2016. And the new President could be my colleague Rand Paul from Kentucky, how about that?
"I don’t want to brag too much, but we already have two pretty powerful Senators. In fact, some people have said that this is the most powerful set of Senators Kentucky has ever had. And so I am going to have an opponent in November, that, if she is able to win, would pick my desk up, from my side of the aisle, and set it down right next to (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid.
"In fact, her vote would make him (Reid) Majority Leader -- a guy who said coal makes you sick -- as the leader of the Senate, instead of a Kentuckian to stand up for the things we believe in. So the stakes (in this election) are enormous.
"You are going to see a lot of ads, you’ve already seen a lot of ads, (and) one thing I’ve learned about becoming the leader of my party in the Senate (is that) I’ve got way more enemies than I’ve ever had before, and most of them don’t live in Kentucky, but they all know who I am.
"There is no presidential election this year, so every wacko left-winger in San Francisco is thinking, ‘who’s a Republican I can take out? Well, I’ve heard of Mitch McConnell, so I’ll send money to his opponent.’
"So we’re up against the left, not just in Kentucky, but all across America, and this is an opportunity to send a message to the people in San Francisco and New York and Chicago and the other places … they aren’t going to tell us to send to the Senate. We don’t share their vision of America. We think we should restore America to its greatness by electing a Republican Senate and a Republican President two years from now, and you’re going to help us to do it.
"Now I know you have a lot of speakers tonight, a lot of people running for office, and I want to thank all of the folks who are running for their willingness to serve. Being in public life is a challenging thing, but it’s worth the sacrifice. And I thank all of you for the effort you’re making to make a difference here in this county.
"And in closing, I want to thank you for the difference you’ve made for me. Every single time I’ve been on the ballot you’ve been there for me, and I deeply, deeply appreciate it. The friendships I have here, the support I’ve had here over the years, and I’m asking you to do it one more time because we’re going to change America, and take it in a different direction.
"We’ve had enough of this crap in the White House, and the only way to change it is to change the Senate, and then change the Presidency in 2016. Thanks for all you’re doing and for all you will be doing this fall, good night and God bless all of you.”