Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) rejects the notion that Matt Bevin’s recent loss in the Kentucky governor’s race reflected poorly on President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, instead claiming that there was a “red wave” in the state.
Paul, who campaigned for Bevin alongside Trump right before last week’s election, was asked by Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd on Sunday morning whether the GOP incumbent governor’s defeat could be a sign of things to come for Republicans.
“When you look at all the races, there were six statewide races,” the Kentucky lawmaker retorted. “We won five out of six, Republicans won five out of six.”
“We did lose the governor’s race,” he continued. “We were disappointed in it but the interesting thing is we beat a lot of candidates that no one expected us to. So actually, in many ways, there was a sort of a red wave in Kentucky.”
Pointing to Bevin’s loss in a highly Republican state like Kentucky, Paul said the far-right governor was likely defeated due to the fact that “teachers were unhappy.”
“I think he was trying to do the right thing, which is to save the pensions for the teachers,” Paul declared. “But it’s tough when you ask people to pay more to keep their pension in place, people get unhappy.”
Todd would go on to ask the senator if he thought it was a mistake for Bevin to nationalize the race and make it about Trump and impeachment, prompting Paul to wave that off.
“You know, a lot of candidates do that because we have conservative voters in Kentucky who elect them because they’re socially conservative and I don’t think it’s a bad strategy necessarily,” the Republican senator said. “They support President Trump. He had other things to overcome. One thing was the anger of the teachers.”
During the election-eve campaign rally he held for Bevin last week, the president told his supporters that if Bevin were to lose it would be reported as if he “suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world.”
“You can’t let that happen to me!” Trump exclaimed at the end.