Gov. Beshear to attend State of the Union address - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gov. Beshear to attend State of the Union address as President's special guest

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will be Pres. Obama's special guest at Tuesday's State of the Union address.

He and First Lady Jane Beshear will also attend a reception for the President's guests and will be included in the Presidential party during the State of the Union address.

"Jane and I are honored to have been invited by the President and Mrs. Obama to be their guest at the State of the Union address tonight. We're also excited because Kentucky is going to recognized nationally for the success it's had in providing affordable healthcare for all of its people for the first time in Kentucky history," Gov. Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear is being recognized by the White House for the smooth rollout of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky. The governor has been a vocal supporter of Obamacare.

"We've got the national model for success in implementing the Affordable Care Act," said Gov. Beshear, who noted that Kentucky has enrolled 182,000 people in four months through Kynect.

Beshear says he's both surprised and honored to be sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama during tonight's State of the Union address.

"It's an honor no matter who's President of the United States to be invited to sit with the First Lady of the United States and listen to a President deliver a State of the Union address," he said.

But President Obama is not popular in Kentucky, and there could political fallout for Beshear and other Democrats in the state, including senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

In a statement Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign said Obamacare will be, "cement boots on Alison Grimes and all other Democrats who refuse to support its repeal."

And McConnell himself took to the Senate floor.

"We have had a years-long clinic on the failures of liberalism," he said.

But Beshear is brushing off any political concerns.

"If the president were a Republican, I would be going to Washington DC to be honored and for Kentucky to be honored for the efforts that we're making for our people on Affordable Health Care. This is not political as far as I'm concerned," said Beshear.

The Grimes campaign would not directly address Beshear's appearance, but attacked McConnell for choosing to "play DC parlor games over helping Kentuckians back home."

For his part, Beshear says there's no reason to run away from the health care law.

"I think by next November, this will be a positive issue for those that support it," he said.

Beshear says the spotlight also allows him to promote Kentucky's success in education and education reform, specifically the state adopting the common core standards, raising the dropout age and receiving a Race to the Top grant for early childhood education.

"Kentucky is a progressive place to be, and we want to attract people from all over the world to come here, create jobs and do business with us," Beshear said.

The Governor's office says Beshear is the only sitting Kentucky governor ever to be recognized at a State of the Union.

Despite the attention from the White House, Beshear continues to deny any interest in a position with the Obama Administration.

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