Mongiardo said he fully backs Beshear in 2011 despite past disagreements

01/21/2011 07:14 PM

Despite having some policy disagreements on health care and energy, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo said he will campaign for his former runningmate, Gov. Steve Beshear, in this year’s governor’s race.

Mongiardo opted to run for the U.S. Senate last year instead of joining Beshear for a re-election bid in 2011. On Pure Politics Friday, Mongiardo discussed his working relationship with Beshear and offered his take on the statewide elections.

He said he wanted to run with Beshear initially in the 2007 race because he saw Beshear — who served as attorney general and lieutenant governor in the 1980s — as mentor in politics.

“I wanted to learn from someone like I did as a resident in medicine — learn from someone before going out and making mistakes,” Mongiardo said.

He said he and Beshear didn’t have any agreement to have Mongiardo serve in a cabinet-level position the way former Gov. Ernie Fletcher had tapped his lieutenant governor, Steve Pence, to be Justice Cabinet Secretary.

Mongiardo, when asked later whether he would back Jack Conway in a re-election bid for attorney general, said he hadn’t spoken to Conway and would concentrate on campaigning for Beshear and Grimes.

Mongiardo also addressed questions about an audio recording of him that surfaced in 2009 in which he is critical of Beshear. Specifically Mongiardo claims a “blowup” in the administration is coming.

Mongiardo said the tapes were “edited.” He said he isn’t aware of any specific allegations, problems or instances of corruption that would cause such a “blowup.”

But he said he has had his share of disagreements with the governor, particularly in the area of health care and energy.

Mongiardo, an ear, nose and throat surgeon from Hazard, said it’s tough for doctors in politics not to be able to carry out concepts.

“That’s a point of frustration,” he said. “That’s more of a problem with my personality, and a doctor’s and surgeon’s personality, than with my relationship with Steve.”

Here’s that segment about his working relationship with Beshear, as well as Mongiardo’s assessment of the upcoming 2011 election.

Look for the rest of the interview with the lieutenant governor — including an extra segment not shown on Pure Politics — coming on Sunday.

- Ryan Alessi


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