Bevin lectures reporters, seeks to refocus campaign on economics

04/28/2014 11:43 AM

Matt Bevin aimed to reboot his U.S. Senate campaign Monday with an announcement that turned out to be a pledge to outline an economic plan later in the week.

Bevin, who called the press conference Sunday evening and billed it as a “major announcement in the U.S. Senate race,” clearly is seeking to take back some control of the narrative of the race after being slammed by opponents in the media for his involvement at a cockfighting rally a month ago.

Bevin started the press conference announcing that “it is not the one that I think some of you have been anticipating” — meaning he would not be withdrawing from the election.

Instead Bevin tried to capitalize on the media presence with remarks critical of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s recent comments in the Beatyville Enterprise which he was quoted as saying job creation is not his job.

Bevin pledged to outline his own economic plan on Thursday in Hazard — just 19 days before the May 20 Republican primary election.

Throughout the campaign, Bevin has questioned McConnell’s character and voting pattern’s, something the McConnell camp has been quick to turnaround on Bevin with his own missteps.

The most recent set-back for Bevin came Thursday with a special report from WAVE-3 TV in Louisville that showed undercover video of Bevin answering questions at a pro-cockfighting rally just weeks after telling press he didn’t know what the rally was promoting.

Bevin was asked about the cockfighting rally by a reporter as the press conference ended, which brought supporters and family to Bevin’s defense.

While Bevin tries to create distance between the cockfighting incident, the issue even has caught the attention of his supporters.

Before the event started two men at the rally wearing Bevin campaign t-shirts talked about the cockfighting allegations. And they said even though they disagreed with the fights, the issue could work to Bevin’s advantage in Eastern Kentucky where the “sport” is popular.

During the press conference, Bevin was asked if being labeled as a liar by the McConnell campaign will be tough to overcome. Bevin challenged reporters to call his friends and ask about his character.

McConnell’s campaign responded to the press conference saying Bevin is demonstrating “a profound lack of respect for all of us in Kentucky and it’s downright offensive that he thinks he can just continue lying to our face.”

“It says a lot about the character of a person when he’s caught intentionally deceiving Kentuckians and instead of admitting his mistakes, he attacks everyone else for the state of his candidacy,” Allison Moore the campaign spokesperson for McConnell said.

Bevin, said his remarks on Monday were a preview of sorts for his “specific jobs plan,” which would be announced in Hazard on Thursday. He said he will also be opening a campaign office in Somerset the same day.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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