Politics & Government

Bevin touts accomplishments at high-profile conference for conservatives

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. YouTube screen shot

Gov. Matt Bevin took the stage Thursday at one of the nation’s premier gatherings of conservatives, imploring attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., to stay engaged in the political process.

“The only way this is preserved is if people stay engaged,” Bevin said. “Because the greatest demise always comes from apathy. Cultures and civilizations crumble from within. It is the apathy of the populace that destroys great civilizations. Don’t let it happen on your watch.”

The annual conference draws the biggest names in Republican politics, including state-level politicians who might have national political aspirations. Bevin spoke with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during a panel discussion titled “How Governors are Reclaiming America’s Promise.”

Bevin used the opportunity to tout some of his accomplishments during his first year as governor.

He handed the other governors pins from his Red Tape Reduction Initiative (Walker and Brownback put theirs on) and talked about his goal to reduce state regulations in Kentucky by 30 percent during the next three years.

He also said that Republicans won a super majority in the state House of Representatives and then enacted seven conservative priorities during the first week of this year’s legislative session.

Bevin pledged that Kentucky would soon have charter schools and said not every high school graduate needs a four-year college degree, making the case for apprenticeships and vocational training programs.

And he made an appeal for less federal intervention in state government.

“Any time the federal government has declared war on something, it means it’s going to cost you hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars,” Bevin said. “And you will, after 50 years or more, end up with more of what you declared war on. And I defy you to think of any example where that’s not the case.”

Daniel Desrochers: 502-875-3793, @drdesrochers, @BGPolitics