Dems tap former Kentucky governor to counter Trump speech

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats have tapped former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to deliver the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

That’s the word on Friday from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. They also announced that immigration activist Astrid Silva will deliver the Spanish language response to the speech.

In a statement, Beshear said “real leaders don’t spread derision and division – they build partnerships and offer solutions instead of ideology and blame.”

Beshear embraced the 2010 health care overhaul and expanded coverage for Kentuckians.

The choice of the former governor stands as a counterpoint to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has promised to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Tres Watson issued a statement in reaction to Beshear being asked to give the response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, saying, “It’s laughable that Steve Beshear is being given a national stage to continue his myth that Obamacare was a success in Kentucky.  Health outcomes have not improved, the state co-op went belly-up, premiums for families have sky rocketed, insurers have left the state and the costs of Medicaid expansion threatens to drive our Commonwealth to the brink of bankruptcy.  Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster in Kentucky and Steve Beshear  was the captain of that ship.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

Categories: News, State News