LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Three key Republicans -- including Kentucky's two U.S. senators -- stopped in Louisville on Saturday, seeking to grow the party's ranks.
Sen. Rand Paul cut the ribbon at a new Republican field office in West Louisville, saying that it was an opportunity to take the party's message to people it has ignored.
"We haven't shown up, we haven't shown that we cared, and we haven't had any policies that've tried to help the community," Paul said. "I don't think anyone needs to apologize, I think they need to start trying harder."
Paul carried the message to the Republicans' Lincoln Dinner at the Galt House, where Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Mitch McConnell joined him. McConnell has employed Paul during his Senate race and Paul, if he chooses to run for president, may need McConnell's ties to the Republican base.
Paul continues to walk a line between advocating for shorter sentences for drug crimes and the restoration of felon voting rights, while not alienating the establishment Republicans he admits have suggested his proposals are too liberal.
"I think the effort that Sen. Paul has put forward is just totally invaluable, and it's a complete blessing," Priebus told about 600 supporters. "And, by the way, are you ready to make Mitch McConnell the next majority leader of the U.S. Senate?"
During his speech, which came at the end of the Lincoln Dinner event, McConnell attacked President Barack Obama's policies repeatedly, but only once criticized his Senate race challenger, Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
"My opponent has been in Hollywood so much lately that she really can't tell the difference between a coal miner and a European male model," McConnell said, referencing a Grimes ad that mistakenly portrayed a male model as a coal miner.
The Grimes campaign shot back, noting that McConnell's team has also used clip art in its ads.
"Mitch McConnell has been in Washington, D.C. so long, he can't tell a Kentucky coal mine from a plant in Greece," said Charly Norton, a spokeswoman for Grimes.
Earlier, Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Nathan Haney said people would staff the new West Louisville office three times a week. It's the party's goal to have someone there full-time, he said.
"We're going to be here," Haney said.
The office is in the Trinity Family Life Center, 3811 Hale Avenue.
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