Kentucky's Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo stumbled Tuesday night following big Republican victories, giving a bizarre speech covering Jesus, religion and the Bible and remarking that Mary "did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem" before giving birth to her son.
The Federalist‘s Mollie Hemingway reported on the odd moment that did not appear to be received well by the assembled Democrats, who offered muted applause to his remarks. He made his comments following a devastating night for Kentucky Democrats, as Republican Matt Bevin won a surprising victory for the governorship, and Republican Jenean Hampton became Kentucky's first African American to hold statewide office with her lieutenant governor election.
Stumbo was upset by the notion, in his view, that Democrats were considered less "godly" than Republicans.
"Let me tell you," Stumbo said. "I am going to admit I have not read the holy book from front to finish like some of you probably have, but my reading of our Bible shows that the word Republican or Democrat isn't used, and people sometimes ask me … ‘What would Jesus have been if he were alive? Would he have been a Democrat or a Republican?'
"Democrat," audience members said.
"I don't know," Stumbo said. "Nobody knows. The Bible doesn't tell us that, does it? But I believe the Bible is a book of parables … I don't know whether Jesus would have been a Democrat or Republican, and nobody else does, but I know this. He was a carpenter and a teacher, and I bet every carpenter and teacher I know are pretty good Democrats.
"And the other thing I know is that if in fact the Bible is a book of parables, like I believe it is, think about this: Mary did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem that night. So you go home and you go to your church and you tell people, I'm a Democrat, I'm a God-fearing Democrat. I'm a Democrat that believes in the principles of the Bible that become the principles of our party, that this wealth accumulation in America has to cease, that people have to have a right to have an equal education opportunity, that people have a right to have health care, that people have a right to enjoy the American Dream, and we will rebuild this party starting right here in Kentucky."
Stumbo, after telling the audience they belonged to the "greatest political party that the world has ever seen," finished off the speech with one more unusual metaphor about Hillary Clinton.
"I believe that there’s a horse out there. It's not American Pharoah," Stumbo said. "It’s an Arkansas Traveler. And that horse is bringing a lady jockey, and that horse and that jockey are going to come to Kentucky next year and help us rebuild this party. Thank you, and God bless every one of you."