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KY's U.S. Senate hopefuls react to State of the Union

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 28 at 12:46 PM

UPDATE:  I missed the Jack Conway response to President Obama's State of the Union address, which is posted below with an earlier preemptive response.

Meanwhile, the Senate campaign of Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo is taking issue with my characterization of his response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in which I noted that, while Republican Trey Grayson was more openly critical of the address, the Democrat, Mongiardo continued to distance himself from his own party's standardbearer.

Mongiardo's spokesman notes that Mongiardo said he was "encouraged" by the President's focus on the economy, asking how is that "distancing himself" from Mr. Obama? 

In my estimation, as Mongiardo has made a concerted effort to reenforce that he is the "independent" candidate in the Democrats' primary, the tone of his response was decidedly neutral:  "It is time for Democratic and Republican leaders to stop their fighting and find commonsense solutions to create jobs and get our economy moving again.”

The Mongiardo camp hopes that Conway's connections to national Democratic leaders which I've mentioned in prior posts, will be equally emphasized.  Conway, however, has also cast himself as an independent Democrat, citing his willingness to file suit against Kentucky's Democratic Party standardbearer, Governor Steve Beshear, over the early release of some prison inmates.

Here are the statements issued by Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates after the State of the Union.

Grayson Statement on the President’s State of the Union Address

Florence, Kentucky –

            Secretary of State Trey Grayson released the following statement tonight on the President’s State of the Union Address:
            “As he always does, President Obama delivered a great speech tonight.  However, his proposals amount to mere lip service to the massive problems facing our country and do little to address our skyrocketing deficits and national debt. 

“We need a spending freeze right now – not next year.  We need across the board cuts to the double-digit increases in discretionary spending we’ve seen this year over last year.  We should hold spending at FY 2009 levels – before the massive increases took place. 

            “Further, it’s disheartening that while the President talks about making American businesses more competitive and creating jobs, he advocates policies like a massive national energy tax that will make our businesses less competitive and drive jobs overseas, especially in coal-dependent states like Kentucky.  We must all remember that the government does not create jobs.  Government should get out of the way and free America’s small businesses to innovate, grow and create jobs.

            “I hope the President is serious about wanting bipartisan cooperation, and I hope Democrats in Congress will stop their go-it-alone, government-knows-best approach and begin to consider more common sense, conservative, fiscally responsible approaches to finding real solutions to our problems.”

Mongiardo Statement on President Obama's
State of the Union Address


FRANKFORT --- Lt. Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Mongiardo released the following statement following President Obama’s State of the Union address this evening.

“Voters are rightly fed up with the non-stop partisan fighting in Washington. With Kentucky families and businesses struggling, I was very encouraged to hear the President focus on growing the economy and creating jobs, providing help for middle class families, and reforming Wall Street.  It is time for Democratic and Republican leaders to stop their fighting and find commonsense solutions to create jobs and get our economy moving again.”

Statements from Jack Conway campaign


“We’re glad to see the President pushing for a jobs package from Congress since job creation needs to be the top priority for the people of Kentucky. In fact, we are just wrapping up our Kentucky Jobs Tour which has had Jack meeting with folks all over the state to discuss initiatives like our Hometown Tax credit for businesses that create jobs, increased funding for education and a renewal of the Research and Development tax credit – all of which will help put Kentuckians back to work. It was also good to hear the President call for measures to increase fiscal responsibility, which is so desperately needed in Washington. Conversations Jack has had with folks across the state over the past couple of weeks have made it clear that we need our elected officials in Washington to work together to get this done as soon as possible because Kentuckians are hurting and need help.”

Hours prior to the State of the Union address, Conway publicly urged the President to focus on jobs:

“Washington gave a no-strings-attached bailout to Wall Street. Now it is time to help working families in the rest of the country. I’m hoping to hear plans to reevaluate trade deals and give our workers and businesses a fair opportunity to compete so we can start creating manufacturing jobs here at home.  Additionally, I am pleased to see several measures being discussed, including from Senators Hatch and Schumer, which are similar to the Hometown Tax Credit I have proposed.  My proposal gives a tax credit to small business owners who play by the rules, create jobs domestically and keep them here. I urge members of Congress to put aside partisan politics and move forward as quickly as possible with measures like these that will help businesses grow and begin adding employees now."