FANCY FARM, Ky. (WHAS11) – In one of the most highly anticipated races across the country, Senator Mitch McConnell was on the defense defending his seat against challenger and current Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes at Fancy Farm.
Governor Steve Beshear set the tone when he began by taking a selfie with Senator McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao.
“I’m sorry. I just had to get one photo with the senator before we retire him in November,” he said enthusiastically.
The title event drew media on a national and international level with record crowds awaiting speeches from both McConnell and Grimes.
Grimes throughout her speech began blasting McConnell for his failed leadership and his lack of enthusiasm for creating jobs for Kentucky. She says McConnell has put his Washington politics in front of the needs of Kentuckians.
Click here for Alison Lundergan Grimes' full speech
“After three decades in Washington you’ve just given up, you don’t care about us anymore. Thanks to you D.C. stands for doesn’t care,” she said.
Other moments during her speech spoke about affordable education, jobs, and equal pay for women.
"When you finally see Senator McConnell and I on the same stage you see only one of us stands for equal pay and equal work," she said.
Despite being knocked around verbally by Grimes, Senator McConnell came around with jabs of his own telling Kentuckians that Grimes and President Obama have similarities with their lack of experience. During the country’s troubled times, he says that the Fancy Farm picnic is fun but made note of the serious problems in this country including immigration and Obamacare.
“By any standard Barack Obama has been a disaster for our country. If you think about it, that’s what you get for electing someone with no experience,” McConnell said.
Click here for Senator Mitch McConnell's full speech
McConnell went on to make the correlation of how Grimes and Obama rely on Hollywood heavyweights and former President Clinton to get them out of sticky situations. He says the country needs to go in a different direction.
“We hold our values every single day. It’s time my friends to rise up and fight back,” McConnell said. “We’ve got people who are hurting out there and need us. There’s only one way – to change America in 2014.”
Both candidates were unfazed by the crowds while continuing to deliver great speeches.
Grimes drew the biggest cheers with her lasting message to Senator McConnell heading into election season.
“Senator you seem to think that the president is on the ballot this year, he’s not. This race is between me and you and the people of Kentucky. We intend to hold you accountable for your 30 years of failed leadership. You can run from the people of Kentucky – you can refuse to answer their questions but Senator you can’t hide from you record and I intend to hold you accountable and I don’t need hound dogs to track you down,” she said.
A successful Fancy Farm event is for sure to bring a highly competitive Senate race to the Commonwealth.