By STEPHANIE MOJICA
7:21 PM EST, January 12, 2013
Congressman Brett Guthrie has been trying to get to know as many of his new constituents as possible and as a part of that mission spoke at Centre College Friday.
Guthrie now represents Boyle, Mercer, Garrard and Jessamine counties, which became part of his 2nd District due to last year’s redistricting. In November, the Republican from Bowling Green was re-elected to his third term. Guthrie, a U.S. Army veteran and Yale University graduate who served a decade as a Kentucky state senator, is devoted to preserving family values, according to his website.
“What a great college; what a great place to be,” Guthrie said at the beginning of his talk to about 20 students attending Centre President John Roush’s leadership course.
Though Guthrie had not officially represented the central Kentucky area until being sworn in last week, he has a long-standing respect for the institution.
“I’ve never heard a Centre College graduate say they regretted going here,” he said.
Guthrie was in attendance at the vice presidential debate in October and worried that high-level guests like Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, would not see Danville’s beauty because of the barricades the U.S. Secret Service put in place.
During his classroom talk as well as during an interview with The Advocate-Messenger Friday, Guthrie spoke of his friendship and professional relationship with Ryan.
“Paul Ryan told me that (Danville) is a stunningly beautiful place,” Guthrie said. “He enjoyed his time here.”
Local and state officials including Agricultural Commissioner James Comer and Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership President Jody Lassiter have recently stated that central Kentuckians have a good economic outlook for 2013 and beyond. Guthrie agrees with those assessments.
“I think you have dynamic, growing areas,” the congressman said.
He noted Harrodsburg as an important manufacturing community and Danville as a “commerce center.”
But, if the federal government does not get a firmer grip on the national financial problems, future generations will likely experience serious difficulty getting benefits such as Social Security, Guthrie said.
“Debt is the biggest issue facing our country,” he said. “We’re in a real predicament in this country.”
There are no easy answers to social and economic problems, but political leaders such as Guthrie and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are often unfairly criticized, Roush said.
“They’re smart people,” Roush said. “They work hard. Their intentions are good.”
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