Obama, Beshear discuss Brent Spence Bridge project

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - President Barack Obama made a brief stop Monday in Northern Kentucky where he had a follow-up discussion with Gov. Steve Beshear about a proposal to replace the Brent Spence Bridge that connects Kentucky and Ohio at Cincinnati.

"He's very interested in getting that project going, and I told him I was, too," Beshear said in a telephone interview after the meeting between the Democrats at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport.

The president visited the half-century-old bridge last year, proclaiming the need to replace it. But Beshear and Ohio Gov. John Kasich haven't yet secured funding for the $2.4 billion project.

Beshear said he told Obama that he intends to work with Kasich "to make something happen."

In his last stop in northern Kentucky, Obama used the double-decker bridge built in 1963 as a backdrop for a speech to press for a stimulus proposal opposed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Beshear said Obama "certainly wants to move infrastructure projects forward" and that he has particular interest in the Brent Spence Bridge.

Obama has visited Kentucky three times since he was elected. One of those stops was at Fort Campbell. The two others were in Northern Kentucky, a Republican stronghold.

"I'm always excited when the president of the United States comes to Kentucky, even for a brief visit," Beshear said Monday.

Obama hasn't fared well in Kentucky politically. He remains unpopular in the state after losing it badly in his last election to then-Republican nominee John McCain.

In this year's May primary, many Kentucky Democrats marked their ballots uncommitted in the presidential race, reflecting polls that show Obama hasn't improved his standing in the state.

Beshear said he expects Obama, whom he has endorsed, to be re-elected.

"I congratulated him on his race so far," Beshear said. "I think he's running a good race, and I think he's on message, and I think he'll be successful."

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