Race for governor of Kentucky might be a pickup for Republicans

Matt Bevin, candidate for Governor of Kentucky, joined Glenn's radio program Tuesday to share what sets him apart in the race from his Democratic opponent.

"Tell me why - if anybody is listening to us and they're in Kentucky," Glenn said. Why should they vote for you?"

Bevin's response:

I'll tell you what, I'm not a career politician. I'm a guy that grew up in a humble way, in a simple way. I grew up with strong Christian values. I'm a guy who grew up having to make his own way, below the poverty level, but blessed to go to college. Joined the military. A guy who got out and spent 20-plus years in the private sector. A job creator. I'm a father of nine children. Four of my children are adopted. I'm a normal person.

I'm a guy like so many out there who simply want better opportunity for themselves, for their families, for their state and for America, for people that are weary about how the fabric of this nation is being shredded. Used to be a thread at a time. We're seeing fistfuls of it, twisted out of the fabric of who we are as Americans. And for people who want a counterpoint to that, for people who want somebody to fight for them who is one of them, who will be a representative of and by and for the people, like this government was intended to be, I'm that guy. I'm trying to step forward and truly be a public servant.

Later, Glenn asked how this election might also be important to people from other states.

"This is a bellwether for 2016," Bevin said. "This is the only race in 2015 that has the ability to move to conservative hands. It is the only one that could be a pickup for Republicans in this case. And it is the only one that will be a bellwether for Medicaid expansion. It will be a bellwether for school choice. It will be a bellwether for energy policy. And it will absolutely move the needle on discussion in 2016. This race is critical."

Listen to the full segment or read the transcript below.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

GLENN: Matt Bevin, welcome to the program. How are you, sir?

MATT: I am doing well. I was doing better prior to Biden Watch 2016, however.

GLENN: Really?

So tell me about your socialist policies for Kentucky.

MATT: I'll tell you who has them is my opponent in this race. Jack Conway is a rubber stamp for Obama. You want to talk about whether it's spending other people's money. He's a career politician. Has never created a job in his life. He's a liberal who supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. He wants to restrict people's gun rights. He's pro-abortion. He's anti-coal. He's a rubber stamp at every turn. Heaven help us.

GLENN: Okay. So you won the primary. This is the real deal now.

MATT: It is. He's the state's attorney general. He's a Democrat. And he's a very, very liberal version of that.

GLENN: Okay. So what's -- how are you doing in the polls? And what's the -- we haven't talked to you in a while. How are things going?

MATT: I've begun to feel a little bit personally slighted actually. I miss you guys.

GLENN: Oh, wow.

MATT: You guys have been truly just stellar throughout, and it is truly great to be back on with you. The polls are good. It's neck-and-neck. We have two weeks from day. Two weeks from today is the election. Tuesday, November the 3rd. And we're just trying to fire up the base. It's a sleepy, sleepy electorate. It's an off year.

GLENN: Okay. So let me ask you this. You realize that we're pretty much the kiss of death. Anybody that we like is the kiss of death.

MATT: I'm not going to accept that. We're going to break the right here.

PAT: Good. How is it possible, Matt, that the person you described to us with such socialist policies like that, with such liberal policies, how can he even be in this race in Kentucky?

MATT: It's a good question. I'll tell you what people don't realize about Kentucky. 72 percent of all elected officials in this state are Democrats. 72 percent.

PAT: Wow. Really?

GLENN: It's old-style Democrat.

MATT: It's old-school. But we're a check the box, vote straight ticket state, which I think is usually a disservice. And, unfortunately, many people do that. Only 38 percent of registered voters are Republicans. So it is an uphill slug. We've only had two in the last 75 years that have been Republican, each for one term in the governor's seat.

STU: Wow.

GLENN: Holy cow.

PAT: Surprising. Really surprising.

MATT: It is. We're different -- I'll tell you, to be in the mix is almost unprecedented. To be tied neck-and-neck --

GLENN: No, no, don't say that, Matt. No, no, no. That's what people who lose the Oscar always says. It's just an honor to be nominated.

MATT: No, no, I'm saying that this is the thing that should give people great hope. Because there are still about 10 percent that say they're undecided. And the 10 percent invariably breaks to the conservative side. This is good for us. I think we'll win this thing by 4 to 6 percent, somewhere in that range.

STU: Matt, is there a third party candidate here that there's a lot of coverage that will screw up your race here?

MATT: It won't hurt me actually. I think it will actually help me, if it ends up being a factor. He was a liberal Democrat up until a few months ago. He's voted for Obama twice. He's even more -- he's like our version of Bernie Sanders a bit. And to that end, he's now pretending to be an independent. I'm not sure exactly what his thinking is. He's a good guy. But he's not going to have any chance of winning. And he will pull votes, but probably more from the other side.

GLENN: So, Matt, tell me why -- if anybody is listening to us and they're in Kentucky. Or hell, they're dead in another state.

Why should -- why should they vote for you?

MATT: I'll tell you what, I'm not a career politician. I'm a guy that grew up in a humble way, in a simple way. I grew up with strong Christian values. I'm a guy who grew up having to make his own way, below the poverty level, but blessed to go to college. Joined the military. A guy who got out and spent 20-plus years in the private sector. A job creator. I'm a father of nine children. Four of my children are adopted. I'm a normal person. I'm a guy like so many out there who simply want better opportunity for themselves, for their families, for their state and for America, for people that are weary about how the fabric of this nation is being shredded. Used to be a thread at a time. We're seeing fistfuls of it, twisted out of the fabric of who we are as Americans. And for people who want a counterpoint to that, for people who want somebody to fight for them who is one of them, who will be a representative of and by and for the people, like this government was intended to be, I'm that guy. I'm trying to step forward and truly be a public servant.

PAT: We're believers, Matt. And obviously there's mattbevin.com, I'm guessing.

MATT: It's still there. When it ain't broke, my friend.

PAT: Yeah. Go fix it. Go fix it. So can they get involved on a volunteer basis as well and help you out with the campaign? Go door to door too? All that kind of stuff too?

MATT: We need all of the above. Yes, if people would go to Mattbevin.com. M-A-T-T-B-E-V-I-N.com. We need time, talent, and treasure. The time and talent: Door knocking, phone calling. They can come into our offices. They're all over the state. They can also do it from home. We can provide them with lists. We need people to make contributions. If they're able and willing, any amount will help us to stay on-air. Liberals are pounding the snot out of us on the airwaves because that's the only thing they have. We're excited though, just last night, the RGA put in a significant buy. They're getting back into this race in a significant way. They've been in and out. They're all in, all the way through to the end. So that bodes well for us as well. I'm excited by this.

GLENN: We'll be watching this. As you know, Matt, we're very big fans of yours. And we expect big things when you become governor. We really expect you to really hold fast to the promises that you've made and make Kentucky an example in the rest of the country on what can be done when you have good, solid principles and you live by those principles and you don't become a crony capitalist or just a dirty politician.

PAT: We also want really good tickets to the Kentucky Derby.

MATT: I can promise you the former. I can't promise you the latter. But I will tell you, in all seriousness, guys, the first and last line of defense against overreach by the federal government, overencroachment on our constitutional rights, the first and last line of defense -- and you know this -- is the governor's seat. It is what happens at the state level. The Tenth Amendment still means something. It's still truly a powerful tool, the sovereignty of a state. And I absolutely intend to make Kentucky a beacon for the rest of America.

GLENN: If somebody is listening, because we've actually had other people that have listened to governor races, et cetera, et cetera, and they've gone -- Scott Walker was one of them -- they've gone from California and they've driven across the country to help in the campaign.

Why is your election important to somebody in another state?

MATT: This is a bellwether for 2016. I mean, heaven help us if we have to listen to Biden Watch 2016 with anything other than a joke in our minds. Because whether it's Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, that is the worst thinking of American political -- of the American political scene. This bellwether for this race, what happens with even with the message on the Republican side is going to be driven by what happens in this race. This is the only race in 2015 that has the ability to move to conservative hands. It is the only one that could be a pickup for Republicans in this case. And it is the only one that will be a bellwether for Medicaid expansion. It will be a bellwether for school choice. It will be a bellwether for energy policy. And it will absolutely move the needle on discussion in 2016. This race is critical.

STU: You know, if you become governor, is there some sort of a retirement plan you could recommend to Mitch McConnell?

MATT: I will tell you what, I made a pledge myself that I will not participate in any kind of a taxpayer funded retirement plan. I will let others speak for themselves as to what they will do. I will not participate.

(laughter)

GLENN: Matt, always good to talk to you. And, by the way, I am a Kentucky colonel. So at some point, I can marshal the troops.

MATT: Please do. Rally the troops. And ride into town. We need all the reinforcements we can get. I would be great grateful. I really would, guys. Good to talk to you.

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