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Politics Trump in Kentucky: Protesters and Trump supporters trade insults, talk impeachment debate

03:45  05 november  2019
03:45  05 november  2019 Source:   courier-journal.com

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Trump supporters and protesters occasionally shared insults , including when a As protesters railed against Trump 's alleged misconduct, Trump backers brushed the allegations off, saying every politician seeks political favors and Trump is being unfairly targeted in the impeachment inquiry.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — There was the usual parking lot full of Make America Great Again hats, ‘Bikers for Trump’ T-shirts and sportcoat-clad students chanting "U-S-A!"

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But as supporters lined up for President Donald Trump’s election-eve rally for Gov. Matt Bevin, the Trump faithful were far more interested in talking impeachment than Bevin.

To many, the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was the latest and greatest outrage, dwarfing last year’s polarizing confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, prompting angry predictions that it would fuel a Trump victory in 2020.

Evelyn Williams, 64, of Corbin, said the impeachment talk hasn't changed her mind, at all. "In fact, it’s helped make up my mind” to vote to reelect Trump, she said of allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.

a group of people standing next to a sign: Trump supporters walked towards Rupp Arena to hear President Donald Trump speak and lend support to Kentucky governor Matt Bevin in Lexington, Ky. before Election Day. Nov. 4, 2019© Matt Stone/Courier Journal Trump supporters walked towards Rupp Arena to hear President Donald Trump speak and lend support to Kentucky governor Matt Bevin in Lexington, Ky. before Election Day. Nov. 4, 2019

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That anger could help Bevin, whose acerbic style and battles with teachers and fellow Republicans has led to a close race with Democratic attorney general Andy Beshear —even in what the Economist called one of America’s “Trumpiest” states.

“I guess he’s done pretty good,” Lisa Pike, a Henry County resident with a Trump flag stuck in her hat, said of Bevin, adding that she planned to vote for the sitting govenor.

Bevin, who polls show is unpopular in Kentucky, is campaigning largely on his ties with Trump, opposition to abortion and support of gun rights. Beshear, the son of former governor Steve Beshear, is sticking to state issues such as teacher pay and health care.

Observers have come to see the Kentucky race as a barometer of who the impeachment proceedings will energize more — Republican or Democratic voters — and how that may impact the re-election bids of Trump and closely aligned politicians.

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Trump in Kentucky : Protesters and Trump supporters trade insults , talk impeachment debate . To many, the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry was the latest and greatest outrage as they waited for Trump to arrive for his rally in Lexington.

As is common at Trump rallies, the spectacle outside the arena offered a tale of two realities.

A few blocks away from the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, past vendors hawking T-shirts, (one read, “Trump’s Tweets Matter” and another, “L.G.B.T.: Liberty, Guns, Beer, Trump”) and a sign reading "We hate liberals," protesters inflated a Baby Trump balloon that has become a symbol of presidential protest.

While some Democratic and progressive groups decided to canvass for Beshear instead of protesting, roughly 200 gathered in a downtown park with signs, such as the one reading, “Boot Bevin, Dump Trump.”

“I don’t want to be here,” said Don Bolton, a construction worker holding a sign reading "Impeachment." “But I’m so filled with anger about this buffoon of a president who is destroying the constitution."

"I could care less about the governor’s race (or the impact of impeachment proceedings for Democrats),” he added. “He has to be called out.”

Mark Adams of Sheet Metal Workers Local 110, representing 1,300 workers statewide, said Trump is “nothing but a bag of ego walking around” and Bevin is a governor who has “destroyed” labor in the state, including ending Kentucky’s prevailing wage law.

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So why is Schiff, who spearheaded failed impeachment efforts against Trump over ‘Ukrainegate’, continuing to spread the debunked claim that Trump is reading a script that was written for him in the Kremlin? So now, in the event that Biden emerges from his basement to actually debate Trump

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Of Trump, Adams said he is benefiting from the economy he inherited from Obama.

Mocking the many out-of-town Trump vendors lining the streets, Adams added: “Where’s ‘American made’ on any of this junk? You want a MAGA hat from China? Go ahead, support China.”

Trump supporters and protesters occasionally shared insults, including when a man approached those around the Trump balloon. Taking pictures of people, he yelled,“Wah, wah, crybabies."

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As protesters railed against Trump's alleged misconduct, Trump backers brushed the allegations off, saying every politician seeks political favors and Trump is being unfairly targeted in the impeachment inquiry.

They did the same with Bevin’s own controversies, such as recently denying a recorded statement he made that suicides happen nightly in casinos.

And several said that ultimately it was Bevin's stricter stances on immigration and abortion that would overshadow any concerns.

Maureen Hennessy, a 66-year-old retired health care worker whose son died in Iraq, said the impeachment is not likely to sway many votes for either candidate, including her favored candidate, Trump. “It won’t make a difference. We’re so polarized,” she said.

Trump supporter Deborah Floore, who voted for President Obama twice, agreed, even though she dismissed the idea that Trump’s divisive rhetoric was to blame.

"It's all, 'They’re bad and we’re good,'” she said, adding that impeachment has some people “talking civil war" and large marches on Washington D.C. Where will the polarization end, she wondered.

“Hopefully it’ll all work out and we can once again get along,” she said. “But that’s a long way from here.”

Reporter Joe Sonka contributed to this story. Reporter Chris Kenning can be reached at ckenning@gannett.com or 502-396-3361

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Trump in Kentucky: Protesters and Trump supporters trade insults, talk impeachment debate

New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign .
The acting ambassador to Ukraine described a phone call in which the president checked on the status of “the investigations.”William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, told lawmakers that the phone conversation between the president and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in Kyiv was overheard by one of his aides. Afterward, Sondland told the aide that Trump cared more about investigations of former vice president Joe Biden than other issues in Ukraine, Taylor said.

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