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McConnell dedicates Conover Ed Center in Mercer, talks politics in Boyle

By KERRY STEINHOFER and KENDRA PEEK

advocate@amnews.com

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell stopped in Mercer and Boyle counties Monday.

The Conover's and Senator Mitch McConnell revealed the plaque that will placed inside the Conover Education Center.

The Conovers and Senator Mitch McConnell revealed the plaque that will placed inside the Conover Education Center.

McConnell visited Mercer County to speak at the dedication ceremony for the new Conover Education Center at Campbellsville University in Harrodsburg.

“It’s nice to have a chance once in a while to celebrate something that’s uplifting, something that makes us all feel better and gives us hope and optimism for the future,” McConnell said.

The five-term senator joined Michael and Carol Conover as they revealed the sign on the building and the plaque that will be placed inside the building.

McConnell also helped cut the ribbon in front of the Conover Education Center.

“I congratulate everybody who’s been a part of this, bringing this higher education opportunity to Mercer County,” he said.

Kendra Peek/kendra.peek@amnews.com Mitch McConnell talks to a group at the Boyle County Extension Office, giving a legislative update.

Kendra Peek/kendra.peek@amnews.com
Mitch McConnell talks to a group at the Boyle County Extension Office, giving a legislative update.

McConnell spent his lunch in Danville at the Boyle County Extension Office, speaking with local students and community leaders, sharing an update from Washington D.C., and answering questions from those present.

“I think the country wanted to see if we could make some progress. The senate had been completely dysfunctional,” McConnell said. “How do you measure dysfunction? In all of 2014, the previous majority, only 15 roll call votes passed. Nobody was allowed to do much of anything.”

McConnell said that changed when he was named Senate majority leader — 200 roll call votes were passed within the first year, he said. The senate worked to tackle things that were “long overdue,” such as revamping No Child Left Behind and passing a five-year highway plan, he said.

“(We passed) a variety of other things, none of which will make the front page of the New York Times, but they were important,” he said. “We made progress in a divided government.”

McConnell criticized President Barack Obama’s refusal to “become a centrist.”

“I thought he would pivot to the center after 2012, when he didn’t get the house back, even though he got himself reelected. I was wrong,” he said. “I thought he would pivot to the center after 2014, because now he had 100 percent opposition in Congress. I was wrong. Now here we are, a few months away from the end of the Obama era … The voters made the decision. In my view, you live with the decision and you try to do the best you can, you try to make some progress for the country.”

Kendra Peek/kendra.peek@amnews.com Mitch McConnell talks to Basil and Betty Turbyfill after a legislative update at the Boyle County Extension Office.

Kendra Peek/kendra.peek@amnews.com
Mitch McConnell talks to Basil and Betty Turbyfill after a legislative update at the Boyle County Extension Office.

McConnell refused to comment on the presidential election.

“If some of you are here, thinking I am going to elaborate on the presidential election, let me disabuse you of that notion,” McConnell said.

McConnell’s refusal to comment on the election or mention Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained national attention after the Boyle County event had concluded.

The event was sponsored by the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce.