Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, speaking Saturday at an annual gathering of social conservatives, said he does believe the nation could survive the Democratic candidate's election, but "at what price?"
"The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood of whom? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots," Bevin said at the Value Voters Summit. "Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room, it may be that of our children and grandchildren."
The theme of the 15-minute, off-the-cuff speech was urging conservatives in the room to voice their opinions, including on religion, and to stand up for their values.
And that included in politics, Bevin said.
"It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away," he said. "Don't let it happen."
The governor's office did not respond to an inquiry about whether Bevin stood by the language.
The speech used violent metaphors throughout to argue the seriousness of his position.
He referenced the rise of the Nazis preceding the Holocaust twice, invoking German pastor Martin Niemöller's oft-cited quote that ends, "then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."
"There's enough Neville Chamberlains in the world, be a Winston Churchill for crying out loud," Bevin said, referring to the British politician who supported appeasing Adolf Hitler before Churchill led the UK during WWII. "Do not be silent sheep being led to the slaughter."
Bevin is a tea party favorite who challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Republican nomination in McConnell's primary in 2014. Though he was unsuccessful in that bid, he won the governorship the following year.
He encouraged the crowd to not "keep your mouths shut" and said he hoped that saving the country would not come to violence.
"America is worth fighting for," Bevin said. "I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don't have to do it physically. But that may in fact be the case."