Matt Bevin Hails Tea Party Activists As New Abolitionists, Suffragists And Civil Rights Leaders

In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor on Saturday, Mitch McConnell’s GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin said that the Tea Party movement “has always existed” in America but has simply taken different forms, pointing to movements such as the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights movement as predecessors to today’s right-wing Tea Party.

His views on the future of the tea party movement: “The tea party has always existed. It’s nothing more than people who value the things that this nation was founded on…. And they come out of the woodwork when they feel that their nation is doing them wrong. And maybe it has to do with abolition of slavery…. [Abolitionists] fought for change, and change happened. The same thing happened with women’s suffrage, with the ability of women to vote. They were mocked and ridiculed for having that opinion…. But they didn’t give up because they were right. And the same thing happened when it came to Jim Crow laws…. People rose up then, too…. Throughout history, these are people who are the fabric of America. And they rise up, they serve the purpose that is needed … and then they fade back into the woodwork. They’ve always been there, they’ll always be there. They’re not looking for power, they’re not looking for a party, they’re not looking for fiefdoms. They’re looking to resolve issues…. Today it is the debt of the nation that is causing people to come forward. And then when it’s been addressed to the degree that it can be, they’ll fade right back into the fabric of society whence they came, and where they will always be.”

Bevin also took the opportunity to deny reports that he has ever supported cockfighting. Bevin was caught on tape telling a pro-cockfighting rally that he opposes “criminalizing behavior [that] is part of the heritage of this state” when asked by a cockfighting activist if he will “vote to support the effort to legalize gamecock fighting in the state of Kentucky.”

On speaking at a rally for cockfighting, which is illegal: “I’ve never been to a cock fight. I don’t support cockfighting. It’s illegal … for a reason, because society does not condone this…. At the same time, there are people who apparently would like to see it legalized, just as there are people who want to legalize the use of various drugs…. It’s their first amendment right to gather and talk about it.”

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Matt Bevin