Clinton to campaign for Conway

Location to be announced

jbrammer@herald-leader.comOctober 7, 2010 

Britain Nireland Clinton

Former US President Bill Clinton is presented with a book on Irish immigration from Professor Deirdre Heenan, Acting Provost, after speaking at the University of Ulster, Magee campus, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland Wednesday Sept. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/ Paul Faith/PA) ** ** UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE **


FRANKFORT — Former President Bill Clinton, whom a recent national poll said is the most popular politician in America, is scheduled to come to Kentucky on Monday to campaign for Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway.

Clinton's close friend, Lexington businessman Jerry Lundergan, on Wednesday confirmed the scheduled visit.

Lundergan, a former state Democratic Party chairman, said the location of Clinton's visit has not yet been finalized.

Allison Haley, a spokeswoman for the Conway camp, later said Clinton will visit Kentucky on Monday to campaign for Conway and additional details will be released Thursday.

Clinton's appearance in the state would be designed to help offset an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans. Polls have consistently shown more Republicans than Democrats say they are likely to vote in the Nov. 2 election.

Polls have shown Conway, the state's attorney general, generally trailing Republican Rand Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon who is making his first bid for public office, although some recent surveys have shown the race in a statistical dead heat.

As of mid-September, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state 1,627,673 to 1,064,962. A total of 192,798 Kentuckians were registered as independents or with other parties.

Paul's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, said in an e-mail, "Jack Conway is welcome to bring in all of the out-state liberals he wants. We hope he has (U.S. Rep.) Charlie Rangel campaign for him again like he did in 2002. And, of course, our offer to pay for President Obama's plane ticket still stands."

A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed Clinton as the most popular politician in the country. Fifty-five percent of those polled held a positive view of Clinton, while 23 percent had a negative view, the best ratio of any of the politicians or political parties polled.

Several national Republicans have appeared in Kentucky on behalf of Paul's campaign, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Paul and Conway are scheduled to participate in a debate Monday night in Covington sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

In the campaign Wednesday, a new National Republican Senatorial Committee TV ad accused Conway of flip-flopping on the issue of tax cuts.

It shows Conway saying in an August interview with cn|2 Politics that tax cuts enacted in former President George W. Bush's administration "ought to be extended for some period of time."

Then the ad shows Conway's interview with The Courier-Journal editorial board last April in which he said he would favor letting Bush tax cuts expire.

"Hey Jack, waffles are for breakfast, not for senators," an announcer says in the ad.

The Conway campaign has said Conway was in favor of the Bush tax cuts when they were first approved and wants to extend them now. Paul has said he favors extending the tax cuts.

Also, the political blog Barefoot and Progressive reported that a Paul ad that accuses Conway of distorting Paul's view on Medicare was replaced with another ad.

The former ad said, "Rand Paul has never supported higher Medicare deductibles." The replacement ad says, "Rand Paul doesn't support higher Medicare deductibles."

The Paul ad was in response to a video released by the Conway campaign in which Paul repeatedly suggests that there should be a $2,000 deductible for Medicare patients.

Meanwhile, another Louisville TV station — WHAS-TV — pulled an ad by the First Amendment Alliance dealing with Conway's record of fighting drugs as attorney general. WDRB-TV in Louisville pulled the ad Tuesday.

Conway's campaign lawyer, Jennifer Moore, said the ad cites sources that did not back its claims.

The First Amendment Alliance ad claims Conway was tardy in creating a drug task force and has failed to stop an increase in methamphetamine labs.

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