McConnell avoids questions on former campaign manager saying he is focused on issues in U.S. Senate race

09/03/2014 03:20 PM

LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, avoided questions Wednesday about his former campaign manager Jesse Benton who resigned amid a deepening bribery scandal in Iowa from 2012.

McConnell told reporters in Louisville that he is focused on “issues related to the race” adding that is what he thinks Kentuckians want to hear about in the final two months of the campaign.

“My opponent wants to talk about anything other than the issues in the race,” McConnell said. “We are going to be talking for the next 60 days about the issues that are related to this race…that’s what I think the people of the state are interested in.”

WHAS-11 political reporter Joe Arnold attempted to press McConnell a second time on the decision to hire Benton as his campaign manager — allegations of wrong doing crept up in press reports throughout 2013.

“You guys want to talk staff you can call Josh (Holmes) but we are going to be talking about the issues that are related to the election that are important that are going to determine the outcome of the race this fall,” McConnell replied.

Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton responded to McConnell’s statements saying that it was concerning McConnell will not address questions from the media into Benton’s involvement in the scandal.

“It is deeply troubling that Mitch McConnell refuses to answer questions regarding his campaign manager’s connection to the bribery scandal’s federal criminal investigation. After dodging questions from reporters and voters alike, Kentuckians deserve answers. Hanging up on the people of Kentucky is not an option,” Norton said.

Senator McConnell was in Louisville Wednesday accepting the Kentucky Narcotics Officers’ Association “Federal Legislator of the Year” award.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is 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 his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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