FRANKFORT, Ky (WHAS11) -- "We the people have come to take our nation back."
Louisville investment adviser Matt Bevin kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign Wednesday morning before a crowd of about 75 supporters in the Kentucky State Capitol rotunda. Bevin will run in the Republican primary versus U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Bevin said he has nothing personal against the five-term incumbent and Senate Minority Leader, but blamed him for the "politics of failure," back-scratching deals, adding to the national debt and not doing enough to block harmful Obama administration policies.
"For far too long we have allowed the elite in Washington DC to make decisions about our lives," Bevin said. "And what do we have to show for it?"
Introduced by Bowling Green tea party leader Jenean Hampton, Bevin was also flanked by his wife, Glenna, and nine children as he announced his campaign.
"Take back our country from the elite professional politicians who are destroying our country," Bevin implored.
The U.S. Army veteran choked up when recalling the service of his fellow veterans and those who died while serving in uniform.
"Freedom isn't free," Bevin said.
The McConnell campaign, which is already running an attack ad against Bevin, issued a statement:
"Mitch McConnell is Kentucky's greatest advocate and he fights his heart out for our Commonwealth every day. Mitch is working hard to bring all Kentuckians - Republicans, TEA Partiers, Independents and conservative Democrats - together to stand against the liberal Obama agenda in Washington. We are grateful for Mitch's broad support as we move forward to victory in November of 2014."
The campaign of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes also released a statement from senior adviser Jonathan Hurst:
"The people of Kentucky are frustrated by Mitch McConnell’s lack of leadership, so it should be no surprise that he’s turned to bullying members of his own party. This is simply the latest in McConnell’s political games and demonstrates just how out of touch he is with Kentucky families. Meanwhile, all across the Commonwealth, Kentuckians are uniting around our campaign because they recognize Alison will stand up for Kentucky.”