Grimes dodges some policy questions; McConnell deflects political questions

08/22/2013 11:34 AM

The catch-them-if-you-can 2014 U.S. Senate race continued Thursday with both Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes sidestepping questions from the few they each took from reporters.

Grimes ducked questions about climate change and the political effect of the endorsment she recieved Wednesday from EMILY’s List, that backs many Democratic women candidates but is known for being pro-choice.

“We’re going to have the next 15 months to discuss this campaign. Today, I’m here as secretary of state in my official capacity,” she said.

But she did answer questions again about the Affordable Care Act and the attention the Senate race has received, allowing her to repeat the guts of her early campaign stump speech. Here’s the three-minute press gaggle:

McConnell, meanwhile, deflected political questions, such as one from CNN’s John King who asked why McConnell’s campaign has dumped six figures worth of ad time criticizing his GOP challenger Matt Bevin if McConnell has a big lead.

King referred to polling the McConnell campaign released from McConnell’s longtime pollster, Jan van Lohuizen. The internal campaign poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters taken between Aug. 18 and Aug. 20 showed McConnell leading Bevin by 47 points, 68 percent to 21 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 4 points, the memo said. From the memo:

McConnell leads on the ballot with all major demographic segments studied, including high turnout voters: straight-ticket Republican voters (+61), very conservative voters (+57), seniors (+55), younger women (+53), men (+49), and those who consider themselves Tea Party Republicans (+46).

But McConnell wouldn’t bite on the question, saying he was at the ham breakfast to talk about agriculture and Kentucky policy. Later, he deflected again when asked about Grimes’ appearance at the breakfast.

Instead, McConnell expanded on his frustrations with the Affordable Care Act, highlighting what he called a growing bipartisan concern with the law. And he fielded a question on U.S. relations with an increasingly unstable Egypt.

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