The national media continues to zero in on Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race after Rand Paul’s controversial comments regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Tonight two nationally recognized political experts discuss the race on Issues & Answers: The Mountain Edition.
Former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan and former Democratic Party Chairman Bob Babbage are my guests.
Babbage, Kentucky’s top paid lobbyist, says, “Eastern Kentucky might be the deciding point” in the race between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul. Both candidates campaigned heavily in the region during the May Primary Election.
“He (Paul) still polls very well. It’s neck and neck or fairly close together, Conway and Paul. So just as we had a great primary election, we’re going to have a classic fall election in Kentucky.”
Duncan calls Paul’s comments a “bump in the road.”
“Rand Paul still has a commanding lead, he as more than a ten point advantage as far as favorables over Jack Conway. And he is very well positioned.”
Duncan and Babbage agree voters are faced with two very different choices in November.
Duncan says Paul needs to get back on the offensive, calling Conway a “limousine liberal” that will vote with Harry Reid.
“We’ll ask him about how he feels about abortion, we’ll ask him how he feels about other social issues. We’ll ask him how he feels about guns. These are issues Kentuckians care about. Most of all they care about jobs and the economy. What’s Jack Conway ever done to create jobs in Kentucky? What can he do in Washington to create jobs? I think he would be part of the problem.”
Babbage countered, “Forgive me if I’m not as sharp elbowed. I won’t call Dr. Paul a country club Republican, although that is where he had his victory party. Dr. Paul will have to explain how he agrees with and disagrees with the traditional Republican views.”
Babbage was obviously referring to questions about whether Paul has Libertarian leanings. His father Ron Paul, a Republican Congressman from Texas, ran for President as a Libertarian.
Babbage says the challenge for both candidates is how they relate to voters on the economy and jobs.
“They will have to say here’s what I intend to do so that you have employment, retirement, economic security right there where you live, no matter what kind of family, no matter where you are, no matter your age. There’s no getting around that.”
Next Monday night we will continue our discussion with Mike Duncan and Bob Baggage as they look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race and Kentucky’s race for Governor.
I hope to see you then.
Here’s a little background on our two guests.
Duncan served two years as the Republican National Committee Chairman and spent eight years as an advisor to President George W. Bush. He currently serves on the TVA Board.
Babbage served as Kentucky’s Secretary of State, State Auditor and former Democratic Party Chairman. He now heads up Babbage Cofounder, a government relations and corporate development firm. Babbage ranks consistently at the top paid Kentucky lobbyist.
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