Bevin: McConnell negotiating shutdown from 'position of weakness'

10/15/2013 05:37 PM

As the negotiations continue over the government shutdown and debt ceiling in Washington, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin said McConnell has backed himself into a corner.

Bevin, a Louisville investment banker, told Pure Politics at an event in Frankfort that McConnell put himself – and the Republican Party in a “position of weakness” during the negotiations debate.

“He is dealing – Mitch McConnell — now from a position of weakness. Which is a position he’s put himself voluntarily into. When he voted for cloture, he handed the ball back to Harry Reid. He handed the reins back to Harry Reid. He showed his cards to Harry Reid. And has been dealing from a position of weakness ever since,” Bevin told Pure Politics.

McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman dismissed Bevin’s answer as being ill-informed.

“Watching what Matt Bevin comes up with on a day to day basis almost makes you want to throw an arm around the guy and hand him a cold-pack,” McConnell campaign spokesperson Allison Moore said. “At some point, you’d think he would stare up at his fake MIT diploma and wonder whether this is the kind of campaign he envisioned.”

As negotiations have expanded to include a way to reopen the federal government and extend the debt ceiling, Bevin said he still wants conservatives to hold the line and defund the Affordable Care Act.

“The American people overwhelmingly don’t want this,” Bevin said. “I still think it should be delayed by not funding its implementation.”

Bevin said that increasing the debt limit should not be an option, he said the focus in Congress should be getting a handle on “fiscal irresponsibility.”

Meanwhile, politicians from both parties and the U.S. Treasury have warned against missing the deadline Thursday to raise the debt ceiling. The treasury would have to pay bills, including interest payments on the debt, with whatever cash is available as tax revenue comes in.

“There is zero chance of us defaulting,” Bevin said.

_Watch the interview with Bevin to hear what he has to say about the issue he and McConnell agree on. _

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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