Grayson taking final swings on final swing

05/17/2010 02:51 PM

On the last day before the election, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Trey Grayson lashed out at Fox News and launched a new Web page defending his record.

Grayson, the secretary of state, is trailing in independent polls to Rand Paul, the Bowling Green eye surgeon and son of 2008 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Grayson told reporters in Louisville Monday morning that he’s faced an uphill fight because of

Secretary of State Trey Grayson

the media exposure Paul received, especially on Fox News, which asks him “softballs,” the Washington Post’s Perry Bacon, Jr. reported.

Here are the quotes Grayson gave, as reported by Bacon:

“I’ve been on Fox News once, on a live feed on one of the shows, and I was told I was to expect a certain line of questioning, and I was given a different line of questioning,” Grayson said. Referring to Rand Paul, Grayson said, “He’s on all of the time.”

“His dad had these phenomenal contacts, so  … he’s on Fox News every couple of weeks with softballs,” said Grayson. Imitating an anchor’s voice, Grayson said the questions are softballs such as, “Rand, tell us about health care, you’re a doctor. Rand, tell us about the tea party.”

The most recent appearances by Grayson and Paul on Fox News were last week, in which both men appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show on consecutive days. On May 11, Cavuto and Grayson discussed the potential effects of the Tea Party movement before Cavuto pressed Grayson on what type of bailouts he would support as Senator. The interview got a bit choppy, partially because of the audio delay between Cavuto and Grayson. Cavuto’s interview with Paul stuck to the topic of the Tea Party. See the two videos here:

Grayson’s comments about Fox News came at the second stop on Grayson’s last swing through the state, in which he is airport-hopping to talk to reporters in Northern Kentucky, Louisville, throughout western Kentucky, southern Kentucky and Lexington.

“Good move in a Republican primary,” David Adams, Paul’s campaign manager, said sarcastically of Grayson’s criticism of Fox News. He said Paul has received no preferential treatment and has made himself available to any media outlets.

“That’s something that’s distinguished Rand across the board is to answer questions from anybody,” he said.“Some have been easy, some have been difficult.”

But the Paul campaign particularly has embraced Fox News. Adams told cn|2 Politics on Friday that Fox News was the only media with a reserved spot to cover Paul’s election night celebration at the Bowling Green Country Club.

“There’s not any kind of a deal set up, but they asked very early on in the process,” Adams said Monday. “They’re going to be broadcasting live to a national audience and a statewide audience. We know for a fact that a lot of Kentucky Republican voters will be home watching Fox News. That’s a very important outlet.”

But he said he’s confident there will be room for “media outlets across the board.”

Also Monday, Grayson’s campaign added a new page to the campaign Web site, which the campaign said was created to “combat the lies” in the campaign. The site includes Grayson stating his position on a host of issues ranging from a Boone County parks tax to whether he is “a Washington establishment candidate.”

“As you know, my opponent continues to run one of the nastiest, most negative campaigns in Kentucky history,” said Grayson’s email to supporters announcing the site’s creation.

Adams, Paul’s campaign manager, said the site offers nothing new.

“Rather than responding to it, we’ll just stick with Rand’s message of a balanced budget, term limits and a strong national defense,” Adams said.

Grayson’s flurry of punches Monday comes after a weekend in which he largely refrained from trying any new strategies, despite Paul’s double-digit lead in the independent polls. He and Paul appeared together at the Scott County Lincoln Day dinner Saturday night. But both men stuck to their standard speech scripts.

UPDATED: In the meantime, other national media are looking beyond Tuesday and even past 2010. A headline from Salon.com asks: Will Rand Paul run for president in 2012?

- Ryan Alessi

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