Kentucky's Republican governor said blood might be shed if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Speaking to the annual Values Voter Summit on Saturday in Washington, Matt Bevin said he was asked if the country could ever recover if Clinton were elected president. "I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else. The patriots," Bevin said, referencing a quote from Thomas Jefferson. "Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we through our apathy and indifference have given away." Per the Lexington Herald Leader, Bevin continued, "I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically. But that may, in fact, be the case." The comments are starting to get quite a bit of attention:
- Democrats condemned Bevin's remarks, with one candidate for Congress calling for Bevin's impeachment. However, any impeachment attempt would be unlikely, as the heavily Republican state Senate would have to vote to convict the governor.
- Amid that and other blowback, Bevin's office provided a statement saying he was speaking about the sacrifice required of members of the military: "Today we have thousands of men and women in uniform fighting for us overseas and they need our full backing. We cannot be complacent about the determination of radical Islamic extremists to destroy our freedoms."'
- But the Atlantic calls that "pure spin," saying Bevin was clearly implying an armed insurrection might be necessary should Clinton be elected. It says his "extreme" comments "underscore the apocalyptic attitudes aroused by this election, which has been unusually marked by fear."
- Vox agrees: "The text of his actual speech, however, is completely at odds with [his statement]—he is very clearly talking about patriots winning back liberty from the tyranny of Democratic Party governance."