GOP majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) visited Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, Tuesday to give a local speech during the congressional recess, but he was met with some unhappy constituents outside the American Legion Post 34 Fairgrounds.
Roughly 1,000 people gathered to voice their opinions outside the venue for McConnell’s appearance, but only a few protesters managed to get tickets to the event. However, protesters against some of the policies supported by McConnell, the GOP congressional majority, and President Trump managed to get their message to the Kentucky senator who serves as the Republican majority leader in the senate.
While McConnell acknowledged the right for those gathered to protest and voice their opinions, he told the crowd that he was going to make his opinion known, as well.
“Winners make policy. Losers go home.”
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McConnell Claims He Supports The Rights To Protest For “The People Outside”
Instead of addressing the concerns of “the people outside,” as McConnell referred to them, the senator spent a great deal of time before that comment outlining Hillary Clinton’s margin of loss in Kentucky during the 2016 presidential election. Kentucky is a traditionally “red state” that has a healthy margin of supporters for conservatives and the GOP.
McConnell stated multiple times how he supported the right to peaceful protest, yet failed to address the concerns expressed by those constituents who had traveled there to make their voices heard. Those few critical voters who managed to get tickets to the event didn’t fare much better in getting their concerns addressed.
One Attendee Confronts McConnell Over Coal Jobs
According to the Associated Press, one of the protesters who managed to get inside the gathering was 54-year-old Rose Perkins of Georgetown. Perkins asked McConnell about the coal jobs being lost in Eastern Kentucky, wagging her finger at McConnell.
“If you’ll answer that, I’ll sit down and shut up like Elizabeth Warren,” Perkins said, a reference to McConnell invoking Senate rules to silence the Massachusetts senator during her speech opposing Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as U.S. Attorney General.
McConnell’s Silencing Of Elizabeth Warren has Not Been Forgotten
Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) attempted to read a critical letter by Coretta Scott King regarding former Senator Jeff Sessions during his nomination hearings for U.S. Attorney General. McConnell invoked a rule that prohibits members of the senate from making personal attacks on fellow senators, but Warren was simply trying to read King’s letter in regard to the character of Sessions for his nomination hearing. McConnell led the rebuke officially barring the Massachusetts senator from speaking for the rest of the confirmation hearing and stated that the action had to be taken because he had warned Warren several times not to read King’s remarks, but “nevertheless, she persisted.”
His words became a rallying cry and the text of memes everywhere, highlighting women who have fought for women’s rights in the past and present.
Unfortunately for Perkins, while she was able to voice her question, McConnell’s response didn’t address or even acknowledge her concerns.
“I hope you feel better now.”
Kentucky Residents Angry About ACA Repeal And Inability To Communicate With Senators
Another Kentucky resident at the event, 32-year-old Robert Brown, came to protest McConnell and the Republicans’ plans to repeal the ACA, or “Obamacare.” Brown uses a wheelchair for mobility because he has spina bifida and is afraid that he won’t be able to get health insurance. He was also upset that McConnell, like many Republican senators trying to avoid hostile town hall meetings, had created a private event requiring paid tickets instead of an open forum.
“Senator McConnell is not holding town hall meetings. He’s holding private meetings with people that will pay to see him and that largely agree with him.”
In addition to protesting many of the policies supported by McConnell and the new administration, the crowd gathered outside the event Tuesday was upset about not being able to call and leave messages for the senator, as contact number voicemails have been full, cutting off their ability to let McConnell and other senators know their opinions on important issues.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]