Senator John McCain Visits Eastern Kentucky

By: WYMT Team Coverage Email
By: WYMT Team Coverage Email

It was standing room only Wednesday at the old Martin County Courthouse as hundreds gathered to hear Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain speak.

It was an old fashioned town hall meeting in Inez where Senator McCain explained his vision for the future of America. He touched on topics ranging from the future of coal to healthcare for our veterans.

Republican Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain brought his message for the future, but he started his town hall meeting with a look at the past recalling Former President Lyndon B. Johnson's visit in 1964.

"I have no doubt President Johnson was serious and had the very best of intentions when he declared the war on poverty in America," McCain said.

Now more than 40 years later, Senator McCain is looking at some of the same issues, but with his ideas for rural America.

"The modern economy offers new opportunities for communities like Inez," he said.

Senator McCain listened to the crowd and answered questions on a wide range of topics, from a possible economic recession, to veteran's healthcare, to reducing the cost of a college education.

"I want to make sure every student in America has access if they need it and have earned it," McCain said.

He promised to create new jobs and job training.

"I promise you I'm not gonna leave Americans behind because they lost their job, due to the flight of jobs to another country," he said.

He discussed the rising gas prices and told the crowd coal is the answer.

"We have to get coal gasification and improved technology so that we can trap carbon emissions and we can have clean coal," McCain said.

He also discussed the war in Iraq and promised better healthcare to veterans.

State Senator Brandon Smith asked about Democratic Candidate Barack Obama's comment that rural America hides behind guns and religion.

"Do you think those views reflect your constituents," McCain asked. "I think it reflects somebody that doesn't understand this neck of the woods," Smith said.

Senator McCain said he would not forget this town or this meeting.

"I will not make this my last visit to Inez if I'm elected," Senator McCain said.

He says he'll hold another town hall meeting for these people to see if he kept his promises.

Senator McCain's speech and his arrival at the airport were major spectator events. We were the only station to catch up with the senator's supporters and opponents both in Inez, and as soon as he set foot in Eastern Kentucky.

"I may shake the hand of the next president of the United States," said Veteran Gene Horn.

It was a feeling shared by hundreds as they lined up to greet Senator John McCain at the Big Sandy Regional Airport in Inez.

"This is an opportunity that they won't get but once in their lifetime," said Inez Director of Transportation Greg Cornette.

After a brief stay with students from Martin County, McCain spoke to a packed house downtown. Those who didn't make it inside listened from speakers in the street.

"His values, and his patriotism and his honor and character are something that is real good for this country," said Retired Lt. Colonel Dan Giaquinto. "He will be a candidate of measured change, not radical change, and I think that that's the proper way to go."

A few came out to voice their opposition to the senator.

"I am supporting Hillary Clinton teeth and toenail," said Shelley Amburgey.

"I don't want to see McCain in four more years. It will be the same policies as George Bush has. We've been in a war for almost five years, we've lost four thousand people for no cause whatsoever," said J.K. Patrick.

Some supporters think McCain will address the issue of troop withdrawal more carefully than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

"It would all be in vain if they immediately start doing that because I don't think that can happen," said Lou Kouns.

Others say McCain's time as a POW makes him the most resilient.

"Anybody that could stand what he stood for five years, in my opinion, can do anything. He's always been a hero of mine," Horn said.

Others we spoke to say they're concerned about jobs and access to healthcare in our region. Many say they want to learn more about each candidate, and they're going to think especially hard about their vote in this election.


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  • by Glen Location: Inez on Apr 25, 2008 at 11:29 AM
    It was great to see Sen. McCain and shake his hand. He is a my hero. It is always interesting to me how folks who leave Martin County/Eastern Ky., always know exactly what goes on here still. They have the local newspapers mailed to them, watch the news from here. If they didn't like it here, why do they keep up with what goes on here? Immigration is important to all working people. Illegals should not get our hard earned tax dollars. This affects everyone in the U.S.
  • by Proud Location: Republican on Apr 24, 2008 at 07:29 PM
    Thank you for coming to KY Mccain. You got my vote and I am a registered democrat. I will vote for Nobama in May for the Operation Chaos, but in November, i am for McCain. I will too vote our Legendary Senator from KY, Mitch McConnell back in! Regan Bush 1 Bush 2 McCain Condi Rice = Peace for YOU>
  • by Matt Location: Kentucky on Apr 24, 2008 at 07:23 PM
    Look, I think the people on here bashing Bush should really look at his record. He inherited Clinton's year deep recession that began with dot.com bust. Secondly, clinton slashed our military, so don't blame Bush for defending you and other's deserving as you are. The war in the mid east in my opinion is God's will to allow Isreal peace, acheived by stopping the hate of that country. That is God's land. Furthermore, does any one remember not having gas available the last time you wanted to fill up? We are so blessed in this country and so many of you complain too much. So what eggs are up 30%. What if you lived where no Kroger' were filled with shelves of eggs, rice, milk, Coca-Cola, chips? Not to bad here is it? Not as bad as when carter, led us to the worst depression since the Great One, and clinton's was the 2nd longest since the Great One. Bush cut clinton's taxes and if you don't want your rebate check Bush is sending you, dontate it to hillary, she's broke! LOL!!!
  • by chris Location: Lexington on Apr 24, 2008 at 07:12 PM
    First, I will begin shaming you that have bashed Martin CO/Inez. Residing in S/EKY, has many advantages most of you will never know of. Pride comes to my mind first. Yes, I did relocate to LX 10yrs ago to better my personal opportunities. However, thru desire and education in S/EKY, hundreds of thousands of indivduals enjoy abundent success w/ pride and great lifestyles. About some of these comments; where, how and why can so many of you bashing S/EKY, claim to be better? You sound ignorant as I sadly choose that word. To the bashers of McCain, you do it only as a retreat to vent your frustration of the fact this race is over for the DIMS, yes DIMS, the democrats. I am very proud to call SEKY/Harlan/Letcher HOME. Furthermore, I will proudly vote for John McCain as I trust in God to give enough Americans the blessings of knowledge to see through ignorance and almost evil like democratic party leaders of today. Example, Dean, Murtha,Clintons,Kerry,T Kennedy,and NObama! McCain'08!
  • by TO JOEY on Apr 24, 2008 at 06:36 PM
    More of your money goes to corporations for tax breaks and oil and gas companies in the for of subsidies (tax breaks). Oil companies received $21 billion last year and Republicans are blocking a bill to rescind these subsidies. People on welfare get far less of your tax dollar than rich farmers and oil companies.
  • by Justin Location: KY on Apr 24, 2008 at 01:47 PM
    I'm right there with you Joey. Sad thing is, I'm a democrat, but will vote in whoever I see fit. People need to quit worrying about McCain cutting out welfare. If they would get out and get a job then they would have nothing to worry about. I feel for the ones who are actually disabled and believe they need the help. But, I work in an office, and I couldn't name one person I know that is on welfare that couldn't do my job. These people are just too lazy to get out and find a job. These people are why Kentucky is stereotyped the way it is.
  • by ARepublican voting Democrat Location: The deep, dark hills of EKY on Apr 24, 2008 at 01:36 PM
    He says he wants to combat poverty, but only for men who are in poverty: http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews/headlines/18102334.html I'm grateful for John McCain's service and sacrifice while in the military (as I am for those who have served and are currently serving), but do I honestly think that combating the "War on Poverty" in Appalachia (or anywhere in the United States, for that matter) is going to be on the top of his to-do list? No. I strongly believe that any Republican presidential candidate would just continue the way President Bush has for the past 7 years. I strongly encourage everyone to look at all three candidates VERY closely and pay attention to their stances on the important issues (the war, healthcare, the economy,etc.). Don't vote one way just because your family does, or because you can't stand the Democrats.
  • by Lisa Location: Inez on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:28 PM
    Proud to be a Republican and to be from Martin County. I believe John McCain will be our next President. I saw SEVERAL democrates enjoying themselves yesterday and wanting to shake THE MAN'S hand!
  • by Joey Location: Lex on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:20 PM
    You just have to love the backwards, illogical thinking of a bunch of rednecks who know nothing about trying to get ahead in life and only know about govt. handouts. This is the reason they bash Republicans because DEMOCRATS love giving my tax dollars away to people who are too lazy to get a job and live off welfare and food stamps their entire life. If you think you people have it rough and John McCain is an elitist; walk a mile in his shoes. None of you were ever held as a POW during the Vietnam War. Total disrepect and I'm ashamed to say I live in the same state as you people who have nothing good to say about him. By the way, I have the same two jobs I did when Bill Clinton was in office but I actually have a savings account now even with a child in private college. I wonder why that is...oh yeah, Bush tax breaks! I don't even make $60k a year but I'm doing better than when Bill was in office.
  • by lone wolf2 Location: kentucky on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:11 PM
    go john go obama anything anybody but another clinton in office bill screwed us enough do we really want his wife in office not if we got any common sense
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