By Jeff Noble / Staff writer
The Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport opened its big hangar door for U. S. Senator Mitch McConnell on Tuesday afternoon, as Kentucky’s senior senator and Senate Minority Leader was the guest at a reception in his honor.
More than 100 people attended the reception, in which McConnell spoke equal parts of recent Washington events, political goings-on, and — on the eve of the Fourth of July — America’s future in this century.
“We elected a new president four years ago on the theme of ‘hope and change.’ To sum up those four years would be these words, ‘despair and decline’...In his (U. S. Supreme Court) decision, the Chief Justice (John Roberts) said the American people will have to decide on Obamacare. America will have to change that by electing a new president and a Republican Senate and make me Majority Leader...Repealing Obamacare will be job one when I take over in January,” McConnell said to a roaring round of applause.
Before he spoke, McConnell told The Times-Tribune the subject of last week’s healthcare decision by the Supreme Court, and the state of the nation’s economy, was the talk of Washington and the rest of the country.
“Everybody’s got healthcare on their mind. The Supreme Court made it clear, and I still want to repeal Obama’s plan. If Mitt Romney gets in the White House, that will happen. And people are extremely unhappy with the trillion-dollar deficit, over eight percent unemployment and the fact that our debt is bigger than our economy. I think we’ll have to look in a different direction,” the senator added.
Later in his remarks, McConnell spoke of recent economic problems in several European countries, and spoke of America’s role at what he called “an opportunistic society.”
“In America, we encourage success, and we applaud success. In an opportunistic society, you can do one of two things. Quit or die. Because in an opportunistic society you always have a chance to succeed. But there’s a group of people against the free enterprise system, and they occupy the White House,” he said.
It was during his talk on the future of the United States that McConnell got the most applause. He tied those comments to the early days of this nation’s history, and ended with a plea for rugged individualism.
“When we’ve had the biggest challenges in our existence, like the Civil War, the Great Depression, two World Wars and 9-11, we’ve always had a remarkable ability to bounce back. Our single biggest challenge is what do we want to be in the 21st Century? We don’t want to fundamentally change America. Everyone in this room are descendants of risk-takers. To get up, go across the ocean and move to a new country to make a life for themselves...I think this current administration is not happy with the way America is...Let’s not lose the competitive edge. We don’t need someone in the White House who apologizes for everything. We are an exceptional country, built by a group of risk-takers. We can still be that way,” McConnell stated.
McConnell arrived at the airport after first making a stop in Williamsburg at the Whitley County Judicial Center. The appearance was one of several for McConnell on Tuesday across southern Kentucky.
McConnell was introduced to the audience by Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White. State Rep. Regina Bunch, of Williamsburg, spoke after the senator’s remarks. Before he spoke, McConnell met with several friends, civic leaders and other persons who came to see him. One group who met with the senator and had their picture taken with him were members of the Air Evac Lifeteam, based at the airport.
Senator speaks during Whitley County reception
By Jeff Noble / Staff writer
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