Gov. Matt Bevin brought four baskets to the Republican Party Lincoln Dinner on Saturday night.
One for the Islamophobes and xenophobes, one for the racists and sexists, one for the homophobes and one for the deplorables.
He was referencing a comment made by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday night, when she said she could put half of Trump’s supporters “into what I call ‘the basket of deplorables.’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”
Clinton’s remark provided fodder for Bevin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, to stress the importance of the November election to Republican donors, specifically the presidential race and flipping the Kentucky House of Representatives.
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“When you think about that kind of idiocy,” Bevin said. “When you think about how ridiculous it is for someone who wants to be the president of the United States describing a vast proportion of the voting population in such pejorative terms, we deserve better from top to bottom.”
McConnell focused his attention on the Obama administration, calling it a complete failure and saying a Hillary Clinton presidency would be an extension of the Obama era.
“When looking at all they’ve done to the country, the debt, the taxes, the overregulation, the slow growth,” McConnell said. “You’ve got to ask yourself just how much longer can the country sustain this kind of approach. And ask yourself how much longer can the country be the same America that we all grew up in and want to leave for our children.”
Barr mentioned indings of a House Republican Committee report on the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, to explain why he felt Clinton shouldn’t be president.
“Nothing is more important than electing a commander in chief that will keep the American people safe,” Barr said. (The committee’s report did not find any proof that Clinton was guilty of specific wrongdoing in the event.)
Paul talked about a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing where he questioned Clinton about her responsibility in the Benghazi attacks.
“Without question by her dereliction of duty, by her lack of wisdom, by her lack of judgment, it should forever preclude her from being president,” Paul said.
Both Bevin and McConnell talked about flipping the Kentucky House of Representatives to give the governor a chance to accomplish some of his legislative priorities.
“It’s time to flip the House,” Bevin said. “Nnety-five years is quite enough time in my estimation, for them to control appropriation, to decide what does and doesn’t come out of committee.”
McConnell said he was the only one of his Southern colleagues who couldn’t brag that his state’s legislature was controlled by Republicans.
“Nothing is more important in Kentucky than giving this governor the opportunity to change our state in fundamental ways,” McConnell said. “Because the truth of the matter is that we just aren’t competitive with the states around us.”
Around 525 people paid to attend the dinner, according to Kentucky Republican Party spokesman Tres Watson and the minimum cost was $100.
McConnell asked the audience to pray that Republicans hold the U.S. Senate. Bevin asked them to donate their money and time.
“It’s the difference between ham and eggs,” Bevin said. “The ham is pretty committed. The chicken’s involved, but the ham is committed. Some of you are chickens, you’re a little involved but you’re not committed.”