FRANKFORT — Matt Bevin called asked reporters during a Monday press conference to focus their campaign coverage on jobs but he mostly talked about Mitch McConnell.
Bevin, the Louisville investment manager, is challenging McConnell, the five-term Republican incumbent U.S. Senator in the May 20 primary.
His frustration with reporters’ continued focus on his statements that he didn’t realize an event he attended a month ago in Corbin was a cockfighting rally was clearly on display. An investigative report by John Boel of WAVE-TV showed Bevin was on hand at the event when another speaker made clear it was to support legalizing cockfighting.
Bevin declined to answer a question about the event Monday, telling reporters they should focus on the important issues in the race – the economy and an out-of-control government.
He tried to make hay out of an awkward response McConnell gave last week to a question posed by the editor of the Beattyville Enterprise about what McConnell is doing to bring jobs to southeastern Kentucky. The paper reported McConnell responded, “That is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet.”
McConnell said later his comments “got lost in translation,” but Alison Lundergan Grimes, the likely Democratic nominee, seized on the comment and Bevin did the same Monday.
“I think people were rightly offended by that,” Bevin said. “Mitch McConnell seems to be focused on one job and one job only and that’s keeping his own. And I think the people of Kentucky are rightfully weary of this.”
He said he’s the only candidate in the race “who truly understands what it’s like to create jobs,” ticking off a number of businesses he’s invested in or founded. “I’m the only one in this race who’s created jobs that the taxpayer hasn’t paid for. ”