On Camera: Mongiardo says Conway is 'not the best' but better than Paul

08/26/2010 10:13 AM

LOUISVILLE — Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo said he’s obligated to support Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway because he said statements Republican nominee Rand Paul has made “scare me.”

“I don’t think that Jack is the best in the state, but he’s a heck of lot better than who he’s running against,” Mongiardo said. “That’s why I have to support him.”

Mongiardo made the comments to cn|2 Politics and WHAS-11’s Joe Arnold before the ham breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair on Thursday. It was his first extensive interview since releasing a statement Aug. 4 in which he endorsed Conway and other Democrats on the Nov. 2 ballot. Conway narrowly defeated Mongiardo in the May 18 Democratic U.S. Senate primary by about 4,000 votes out of more than 450,000 cast.

In the interview, Mongiardo addresses his view of the U.S. Senate race, side-steps questions about how much he will help Conway on the trail and responds to questions about outstanding debt from his primary Senate campaign this spring.

Mongiardo ripped Paul for his statements, such as telling the Associated Press that drug addition was not “a pressing issue.” Paul later said his remarks were taken out of context and that reforming the federal judicial process to better handle drug-related cases was not the pressing issue to which he was referring.

Paul “makes some statements that scare me,” Mongiardo said.

Here’s the interview:

At one point, Mongiardo referred to Paul wanting to get rid of public education. That’s not correct. Paul has supported the idea of eliminating the U.S. Department of Education and allowing public education to be governed on a local level.

Mongiardo also said Democratic leaders were “starting” to help him retire $80,000 in debt from the primary, which became another source of friction between Mongiardo and Conway. Here’s how he responds to questions about that subject:

- Reporting by Ryan Alessi, video produced by Holly Thompson


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