Ralph B. Davis
PRESTONSBURG — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell addressed an assembly of four area chambers of commerce Wednesday, using the time to lay out his reasons for why he believes voters should opt for a change in the presidential election this year.
McConnell, who serves as minority leader of the Senate, addressed a lunchtime gathering of the Floyd County, Southeast Kentucky, Letcher County and Johnson County chambers at the Wilkinson-Stumbo Convention Center. During his speech, he laid out his reasons for believing the country would be better off if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defeated President Barack Obama on Nov. 6.
“It’s time for the American people to make a judgment, about whether they want the next four years to be just like the last four years,” McConnell said.
McConnell said the president has experimented with a “European” style of government during his first term, and said that experiment has failed.
“We’ve had an experiment here in very, very big government,” McConnell said, “four years in a row of trillion-dollar deficits, each year, trillion-dollar deficits. We now have a debt the size of our economy. When you have a debt the size of your economy, you look a lot like Greece.”
He also said Obama has reneged on 2008 pledges of working with Republicans to reach bipartisan compromise. He said the promise shown when the two parties agreed to extend former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts proved to be temporary.
“Well, my friends, that proved to be an aberration, and not the beginning of a trend,” McConnell said. “It was a moment in which you could see how bipartisan things could be accomplished. The president, however, pivoted back to the left and stayed there for the balance of the current Congress.”
Southeast Chamber Chairman Danny Vanhoose introduced McConnell, who he said “epitomizes leadership.”
Vanhoose also said the collaboration of the four chambers was a heartening sign.
“I’m delighted to be here with a group of business leaders from throughout this community and throughout this region, who see the benefit of coming together and working as one,” Vanhoose said.
Southeast Chamber Director Jared Allen agreed, saying there are plans for similar events in the future. He said cooperation between communities will foster growth for all.
“Our individual communities are not losing to each other, but we are losing as a region,” Allen said.