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“On the campaign trail: Paul taks E. Ky. issues at Hazard meeting”

Below is an article from the Hazard Herald about Rand Paul’s recent visit to the area.

HAZARD – Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for United States Senate, was in Hazard again this week as part of another eastern Kentucky tour.

Paul traveled to 12 cities throughout the mountains in three days and said he was doing it to find out what the concerns of people living in the mountains really are.

“We come out here to learn more about what is important to people out here,” Paul said.

He made a stop at WYMT-TV before moving on to the Hazard Country Club where he spoke with supporters about cap-and-trade, the coal industry, the Environmental Protection Agency, health care and other issues.

He said people in Hazard are still concerned about jobs, the economy and the recession. Overall, he said most people simply think President Obama’s policies are bad for Kentucky, and they want change.

“What will happen in this election is that it will be a referendum on the president,” Paul said. “If you approve of the president’s policies toward coal … you’re going to vote for the other side. If you think that President Obama needs to be reined in and that there needs to be another voice up there for our coal, jobs and this part of the state, then people will vote for me.”

His said his focus at the Country Club meeting was to highlight the fact that President Obama’s policies about coal are not good for Kentucky, saying that they are very damaging to Kentucky and will destroy thousands of jobs across Kentucky.

“We can not have a U.S. Senator who will be ambivalent on this,” Paul said. “We need a U.S. Senator who will stand up and say, ‘President Obama is wrong.’”

He said Obama has said specifically that his policies about coal will bankrupt the industry, and added that Obama is proud of this fact.

“That is alarming and I think very worrisome to people out here,” Paul said.

He said he is not worried about losing support despite some polls showing that his opponent, Jack Conway, is gaining ground and catching up to Paul’s numbers of support.

“The polls will go back and forth, the race will probably be a close race,” Paul said. He added that if a poll was conducted about the top five issues that people are concerned about, the President and Conway are wrong on each of those issues.

“We think that our message will resonate out here (in the mountains), and we think we’re going to do very well in eastern Kentucky,” Paul said.

Paul also addressed the truthfulness surrounding comments he made which are being used in a current Conway television ad claiming that Paul favors a $2,000 deductible on Medicare.

“His ad is a lie,” Paul said. “It’s dishonest; it’s demagoguery; it’s politics at its lowest form; and it’s also why we can’t have an intelligent discussion in America.”

He said he doesn’t favor that measure and added that he only meant to make the point that consumers and people who get something out of these entitlements will have to participate more in how Medicare is paid for.

“If we want to get together honestly and fix this and have a dialogue, there are ways of doing it,” Paul said about Medicare. “We’re trying to figure out how we fix the current system, but we have to … get together as a nation and admit we have a problem funding these things.”

Read more: Hazard Herald (KY) – On the campaign trail Paul talks E Ky issues at Hazard meeting