Kentucky Governor suggests 'blood will be shed' if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency

Republican Matt Bevins, who was elected last year, said conservatives may have to fight 'physically' to protect their values from liberalism 

Bevin was speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington DC, to an audience of social conservatives
Bevin was speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington DC, to an audience of social conservatives

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has said American conservatives may have to resort to physical violence to protect their values from liberalism, should Hillary Clinton emerge victorious from the November presidential election.

“I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” Mr Bevin, a Republican, told an audience of social conservatives at the Values Voter Summit in Washington DC on Saturday. “But that may, in fact, be the case.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence also spoke at the weekend summit, and their appearances overshadowed Mr Bevin’s, whose provocative remarks only started to gain attention after being more widely shared this week.

In his speech, he harked back to a quote by Thomas Jefferson, the third US President, who wrote in 1787 that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

Mr Bevin said: “Somebody asked me yesterday… ‘Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive, that we’d ever be able to recover as a nation?’ And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ.

“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. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren.”

Mr Bevin, who succeeded a two-term Democratic Governor last year after standing on a Tea Party-style platform, is not the first Republican to suggest a violent response to a Clinton presidency.

Last month Mr Trump suggested that a Supreme Court containing judges nominated by Ms Clinton might abolish the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which enshrines the right to bear arms. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr Trump said. “Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”

On Monday Mr Bevin released a statement claiming his comments had been misconstrued and were, in fact, a reference to Americans serving in the military. “We have thousands of men and women in uniform fighting for us overseas and they need our full backing,” he said. “We cannot be complacent about the determination of radical Islamic extremists to destroy our freedoms. Nor can we allow apathy and indifference to allow our culture to crumble from within.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in