Tags: US | Congressional | Recess | Protests | Mitch McConnell

Protesters Again Greet McConnell Appearance at Home

Image: Protesters Again Greet McConnell Appearance at Home

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Friday, 24 Feb 2017 07:44 PM

Protesters who shadowed Mitch McConnell during his home state appearances this week are vowing to keep tracking the Senate majority leader whenever he returns to Kentucky.

More than 200 protesters chanted and held signs Friday evening across the street from a Louisville conference center where McConnell and other Republicans were celebrating the GOP's sweeping fall victories.

Protesters chanted "Ditch Mitch, dump Trump" and "We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter."

Protesters also raised questions about President Donald Trump's connections to Russia and called for an investigation. They also posed questions on issues ranging from health care and immigration to free speech rights that they said would ask the longtime Republican senator if he would meet with them.

"We will continue to hunt for Mitch any time he's in Kentucky until he agrees to a town hall," said Kim Hibbard, who helped organize the protest.

Reena Paracha attended protests at events in Lawrenceburg, Louisville and Covington this week but never saw the senator.

"He is so afraid of the people ... right now," she said. "He doesn't even have the guts to come out and speak to any of us."

Hibbard said that McConnell chooses to attend public events where he speaks to friendly audiences and doesn't face any pushback. She said protesters have been gathering outside McConnell's office in downtown Louisville once a week and will continue doing so at least through 100 days of Trump's presidency.

The senator said Wednesday that the protesters have a right to speak out, calling it "about as American as apple pie." But he said they're doing so because "they're sorry they lost the election."

And after attending a Chamber of Commerce event earlier in the week, McConnell was asked by a reporter why he doesn't attend town hall events. McConnell replied: "I thought we had a lot of the general public here, plus a whole lot of others today. I'm perfectly open."

McConnell fielded several questions from the audience during that event, including Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Several people were still in line wanting to ask the senator questions when the event ended.

Protesters on Friday evening voiced their objections to GOP efforts to undo President Barack Obama's health care law as well as to Trump's immigration policies.

Paracha said McConnell needs to "grow a spine" and stand up to Trump instead of serving as his "enabler" in the Senate. "People that have never had health care and got it under the ACA will now not have it," she said.

Paracha, a native of Pakistan who is a U.S. citizen and lives in Kentucky, also said Trump's immigration policies are unconstitutional and immoral.

The protest ended after about 90 minutes as a thunderstorm pushed through Louisville.

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Protesters who shadowed Mitch McConnell during his home state appearances this week are vowing to keep tracking the Senate majority leader whenever he returns to Kentucky.
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2017-44-24
Friday, 24 Feb 2017 07:44 PM
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