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Beshear deflects web attack, supports Obama re-election


Posted on May 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

(WHAS11) - It's the first salvo since the primary in the Kentucky governor's race.

A web video released by the Williams-Farmer campaign on Thursday says Governor Steve Beshear has failed to deliver on any major issue. 

Appearing at a Louisville business on Thursday afternoon, Beshear said he was proud to run on his record and promised to run an aggressive, but positive campaign.

“I think it will really start heating up until August or September when folks are ready to pay some attention to the campaign,” Beshear said.

That's what the incumbent governor with a $3 million head start on fundraising would prefer.  The Republican ticket announced Thursday that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is headlining a June campaign fundraiser in Lexington.

The Republican nominee lost nine of the top ten largest counties in Kentucky in the primary.  His campaign is anxious to start chiseling away at Beshear's presumed advantage as soon as possible.

“We need leaders who will actually lead,” Beshear is heard on the web video in a clip from his 2007 campaign.

The Republicans contend that Beshear has failed to lead - with no results on pension and tax reform, double digit unemployment and a state budget gap so large that Kentucky's bond ratings have been downgraded.

“I think we've come through it about as good as any state in the country has,” Beshear countered, “and we're starting on our way out now.”

“Governor Beshear has been able to very effectively hide his slight of hand in the budget situation,” Williams said.

“But we made tough decisions,” Beshear argued, “and didn't just cut across the board like a lot of politicians want to do.  That's the easy way to do it.”

Williams says that it is Beshear who took the easy way out when he declined to appear at Fort Campbell alongside President Barack Obama when the President and Vice-President traveled to Kentucky after the Navy Seals operation that killed terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden.

Though President Obama is unpopular among Kentucky voters, Williams said that Beshear should have been there.

“If I'm governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Commander in Chief comes to Kentucky to honor these heroes?  I will stand by him as our Commander in Chief,” Williams said.

“We didn't get enough notice to really be able to juggle all of that,” Beshear explained, “We tried but in the end we couldn't get it worked out.”

Beshear says he was obligated on Oaks Day to courting executives in an effort to grow jobs. 
But does he support President Obama's reelection?

“I think when it's all said and done, President Obama will still be President Obama,” Beshear replied.

Pressed whether he is support President Obama's reelection, Beshear said that he would, with a qualification.

“I'm going to support the President for reelection, at the same time I'm going to keep disagreeing with him when I think they are wrong,” Beshear said.