Governor Beshear has some strong words about the state's senior U.S. Senator. During a visit to Bowling Green Wednesday, Beshear told WKU Public Radio that he thinks Republican Mitch McConnell symbolizes the partisan bickering and obstructionism that has plagued Washington D.C. recently.
"And of course Sen. McConnell has been a part of that for the past 30 years. It's gotten worse, it hasn't gotten better. And he's gotten to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. So I think people are looking for a change," said Beshear. "We just have to give them a good alternative."
Beshear says he believes Senator McConnell would be "vulnerable" against a strong Democratic challenge next year.
McConnell has said he's ready to defend his record against any challengers during the 2014 Senate contest, and believes the majority of Kentuckians support his efforts to block key parts of President Obama's agenda.
McConnell has been amassing a campaign war chest and staffers to help his re-election efforts. Scott Jennings, a longtime Kentucky GOP operative who is working with two SuperPacs that support McConnell, says the Republican incumbent has attracted a great deal of support based on his legislative work in Washington.
"And I think that's why you're seeing such an early formation of a political apparatus designed to re-elect him, because he's done a good job and he's done right by the state of Kentucky and that's why you have some of these folks doing what they're doing," Jennings recently told Kentucky Public Radio.
Democrats have yet to land a high-profile challenger to take on McConnell next year.
As the scandal surrounding the targeting of tea party groups by the IRS continues, some Kentucky tea party activists are upset with Senator Mitch McConnell's role in the process—even as the state party is asking them to support him.
In Kentucky, only the statewide 9/12 project has come forward to acknowledge that they were targeted and that they were rejecting the IRS' apology on the matter.
But that hasn't stopped Kentucky politicians, including McConnell, from consistently pointing to the issue. He's demanded a full investigation into the matter.
The Republican Party of Kentucky is circulating a letter to back up McConnell on his efforts, asking tea party activists in Kentucky to sign it.
But Kentucky tea party activist David Adams called the attempts opportunistic.
Kenny Colston's report on Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate race
Senator Mitch McConnell's next election is a year and a half away, and he doesn't have a serious opponent. But this hasn't stopped him from amassing significant money and personnel for his re-election.
Every week, new field directors, political staff and fundraisers join the effort to re-elect McConnell. But while they have the same goal, they don't have the same boss. Some of the staffers work for McConnell's campaign. Others are paid by the Republican Party of Kentucky, while some answer to various SuperPACs.
Scott Jennings is in that last category. He's a longtime political operative who has worked on two presidential campaigns and for McConnell in the past. This year, he's working with the newly-formed Kentuckians for Strong Leadership and the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which has just begun running ads supporting conservative ideas.
Jennings controls those organizations from an East Louisville office, which he shares with the PR firm he founded this year.
Jennings says conservative interest in the race has picked up now because supporters respect the role McConnell has played in blocking President Barack Obama's agenda.
Governor Steve Beshear is criticizing the secret recording of a campaign meeting of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell that was leaked.
Two members of Progress Kentucky, Shawn Reilly and Curt Morrison, have been implicated by a Jefferson County Democratic official as being behind who secretly recorded the McConnell meeting.
Kentucky Democratic leaders have been largely silent on the situation since the news broke last week. But after being asked Wednesday about the recording, Beshear said he found the whole situation—both the secret taping and McConnell's remarks — to be awful.
"I think it's deplorable, just in general, about taping conversations and that kind of thing. I find it about as deplorable as I do Senator McConnell's political tactics that he was talking about," Beshear says.