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McConnell links Higdon win to national outrage at Democrats

by Joe Arnold


Posted on December 9, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 9 at 6:39 PM

As the 14th District state senate race triggered the kind of ad campaigns normally reserved for Congressional seats, political observors wondered about the wisdom of TV commercials in support of Republican Jimmy Higdon that linked Democratic candidate Jodie Haydon to the U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic health care overhaul.  One ad highlighted Haydon's call to find "new revenue streams" to pay for it.

Now, Kentucky senior senator Mitch McConnell, who is leading the charge against the Democratic bill, says that the GOP victory in Kentucky, despite tremendous outside money in support of the Democrat and overwhelming Democratic voter registration is indicative of voter outrage against national Democrats' agenda.

"He had one message. One message," McConnell said in the floor speech, "Oppose the Reid bill, oppose what Pelosi is doing. Oppose what the Democrats in Washington are doing." 

In Kentucky, the vote was being watched less as a referendum on health care than on expanded gambling, but other Republicans are sounding the same theme as McConnell, that the special election is a bellwether vote against President Obama and the Democratic Congress, in favor of "conservative values."

Here are Sen. Mitch McConnell's remarks on the floor:

Floor Remarks
December 9, 2009
“We see signs of opposition everywhere. Public opinion is overwhelming. We see its unanimous in all the polls across the country. The American people are saying don’t pass this bill.
“Last month’s gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia were a stinging rebuke to the Democratic approach of more spending, more debt, higher taxes and endless bureaucracy. And there’s a new development, just yesterday, just yesterday in my home state there was a special election for the state senate. Why would that be worthy of commentary on the Senate floor? Let me describe the situation. It was a three to one Democratic district. Because of state issues the Democratic state Administration was intensely interested in winning that seat. They spent a million dollars cumulatively, the candidate, the Democratic state party and an outside interest group in support of the Democrat. A million dollars on just one side of a state senate race in a rural area of my state.
“On the other side was a Republican candidate outspent five to one, outspent five to one, in a three to one democratic district. The Republican candidate for the state senate won be twelve points. How did that happen? He had one message. One message. Oppose the Reid bill, oppose what Pelosi is doing. Oppose what the Democrats in Washington are doing. In other words, the candidate who was outspent five to one, in a district where he was out registered three to one made the sole issue in the state senate race what is happening here in Washington, on this bill, that’s on this floor. That ought to tell you on the heels of the Virginia and New Jersey elections what’s happening in this country. People have seen enough and heard enough and they want it to stop.
“The message is simple. This health care bill is a losing formula all around. That’s the message Americans are sending loud and clear. The signs are everywhere. We saw it yesterday in my home state.
“It’s time to stop this bill and start over.”