News & Politics

Even Republicans Are Horrified by This Kentucky Governor's Attack on Protesting Teachers

One prominent GOP official calls Matt Bevin's remarks "indefensible."

Photo Credit: Screenshot / Raw Story

Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin sparked outrage Wednesday after he called teachers who oppose efforts to cut pension benefits “selfish” and “ignorant.”

As reports, Bevin told WVLC Tuesday that the teachers protesting Senate Bill 1—which would cut billions of dollars in benefits for teachers—are disloyal Americans, like ration hoarders during World War II.

“This would be like people having mass demonstrations about, ‘No I want my butter, I want my sugar, I’m going to keep all my steel and my rubber and my copper, and to heck with the rest of you people, you better keep giving me mine,’” Bevin said of protesting teachers.

“That’s what it is, it’s the most remarkable commentary about who we are in modern times,” Bevin said. “It’s just straight up about wanting more than your fair share.”

Republican House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne slammed Bevin’s comments Wednesday, telling “they’re inappropriate” and “indefensible.”

“I have not seen the exact comments of what was said today, I’ve only heard bits and pieces of them, but if they are as I’ve been told, I think they’re inappropriate and I think that they show a lack of understanding of the people who are impacting the lives of our young people in this state,” Osborne said. “He’s not talking about many of the teachers that I know, many of the teachers I still consider friends and many of the people who are still active participants in the education community.”

“For us to lose focus on the fact that we’ve got to do something about this problem is inappropriate, but it is made exponentially more difficult when people make indefensible statements,” he said.

Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim also hit Bevin for his remarks, calling them “disrespectful verbal attacks” by the state’s Republican leader.

“It’s true that countless teachers have had the audacity to stand up to our governor and the state legislature to demand the funding our students deserve and the retirement benefits we were promised,” McKim said on Facebook. “We ask our governor to remember he is a role model for Kentucky students too, so he should not be modeling name-calling or the disparaging of any group of our commonwealth’s citizens.”


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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.