Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bruce Lunsford's Victory Speech

As prepared for delivery to supporters at the Downtown Marriott in Louisville

Thank you. Thank you.

I appreciate the excitement and the celebration tonight. But I will not stand here tonight and tell you our mission is accomplished. Our mission will not be accomplished until we defeat Mitch McConnell in November.

And even more importantly, our mission will be accomplished only when we redeploy our troops out of Iraq, make universal health care happen, we’re no longer dependent on foreign oil, and we turn our economy around.

Until we repair the damage done by President Bush and his chief architect in the Senate – Mitch McConnell, our mission is not accomplished!

Over the past several minutes, I have received phone calls from the other Democratic candidates in the primary including Greg Fischer.

I want to congratulate my opponents in this primary for running spirited campaign, Dr. Michael Cassaro, James Rice, Kenneth Stepp, David Williams, David Wylie, and especially Greg Fischer, who was particularly spirited.

I’ve known Greg’s dad George since my days in the John Y. Brown administration. The Fischers are a fine family and I look forward to having Greg, his family, and his supporters join us in working to defeat Mitch McConnell in November.

First, I want to thank the Democratic voters of Kentucky for trusting me with this important mission.

I want to thank all of my supporters for helping us achieve this victory tonight. I particularly want to thank those Labor organizations representing over 175,000 Kentucky working families who gave me a chance to make my case and supported me, the Change to Win coalition and the AFL-CIO and their members, including:

The Teamsters
Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers
Operating Engineers
Letter carriers
Plumbers and Pipefitters
Sheet Metal Workers
United Mine Workers
United Steelworkers

For a former Fortune 500 CEO like me to earn the support of Labor means a lot and is a real example of the kind of collaboration that is needed to bring change and improve our sagging economy.

I also want to thank our volunteers and campaign staff, who have worked tirelessly for months to get us to this spot.

And I especially want to thank my family. My three daughters, Amy, Cindy and Brandy. I’m really proud of them. And my three beautiful grandchildren…it is their future at stake here.

This election is about change.

To bring change, we will need the support not only of Democrats, but also independents and Republicans who have had enough of George W. Bush and Mitch McConnell and who want to change Washington and change the course of this great country.

I think everyone here has heard that I’ve crossed party lines once or twice. I’ve taken some flak for those decisions when they were mistakes and that’s ok, I’ll admit my mistakes. But Mitch McConnell won’t. Politicians like McConnell refuse to admit their mistakes and that’s just another reason nothing gets done in Washington.

Change won’t come easy and it won’t come entirely from one side. People need to work together to make it happen. And as long as corporate special interests like the oil companies are feeding Mitch McConnell, he will continue to stand in the way of change and Kentuckians have had enough!

I’ve been fortunate in my life. I’ve had the opportunity to live the American dream. I grew up on a farm without indoor plumbing for six years, cut tobacco and laid blacktop through college.

My dad would tell me, “Son, if you work hard and take your education seriously, you can go from the outhouse to the penthouse.” That opportunity to get a quality education right here in Kentucky helped me start a business with three employees and grow it into a Fortune 500 company with 62,000 employees.

Every child in Kentucky should have that same opportunity. The failed policies of George W. Bush and Mitch McConnell have taken that opportunity away from too many children. It is time we change that!

Mitch McConnell has been in Washington 24 years. The baggage of his record would weigh down the Titanic. Now he says this election is not about the last 24 years, it is about the next six? Let me tell you something, if the next six years are like the last six, we’ll be in a hole we can’t dig ourselves out of.

When Mitch McConnell was reelected in 2002, average price of gas was $1.45/gallon. It is crossing $4 now. What would we have six years from now under McConnell, $10/gallon gas?

Kentuckians have it tough enough already. Just a few weeks ago I was working at Jack Coleman’s lumber yard as part of the On the Job with Bruce tour that will continue through November, and I heard it from everyone I worked with. They’re having a hard time making ends meet while paying for gas to commute to work and Jack’s small business is having to pay more and more in fuel costs during deliveries.

After 24 years of Mitch McConnell, it is time for a change.

Now Mitch will throw everything he can at us to try and stop change. He will call me every name in the book. But it won’t stop me and it won’t stop us. I don’t care what he calls me, because when it is all said and done, he will be calling me Senator and we will have someone in the Senate who listens to working families for a change!

Tonight I want to make a promise to Kentucky – to Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who want change – that I will work as hard as I can, travel to as many Kentucky towns and cities as I can, and talk to as many Kentuckians as I can – until our mission really is accomplished and we bring Mitch McConnell back to Kentucky for good.

We can do it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m ready for it. Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Let’s get to work!

Thank you.

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