Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin is taking heat today after video was released of him speaking at a cockfighting rally. Bevin is taking on Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky GOP primary.
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Bevin was later confronted about his speech at the rally.
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We caught up with Bevin at a Louisville campaign stop. He said he didn’t know it was a cockfighting rally.
“I don’t personally support cockfighting, never been to a cockfight in my life,” he said. “If you were there, you can tell, when I was speaking, were you there when I spoke?”
“I was there the whole time,” I said.
“I was there to speak about why I’m running for US Senate. That’s the same thing I do everywhere I speak,” Bevin said.
“When Dave Devereaux got up before you, he said we’re here for the sole purpose of talking about legalizing cockfighting in Kentucky. What were you thinking when he said that?” I asked.
“I honestly wasn’t even paying attention. I was thinking about what I was going to say. I don’t even remember him saying that,” Bevin said.
I read him back his comment from the rally: “Criminalizing behavior, if it’s part of the heritage of this state, is in my opinion a bad idea.”
“You stand behind that?” I asked.
“What I stand behind is people’s ability to examine their First Amendment rights to speak about whatever they want to speak about,” Bevin said.
The McConnell campaign released a statement following the undercover report.
“Matt Bevin’s cockfighting episode will go down in history as one of the most disqualifying moments in Kentucky political history,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement. “Twenty years from now, we will all remember the time when the East Coast con-man thought so little of Kentuckians that he pathologically lied to us about absolutely everything until an undercover camera caught him red-handed at a cockfighting rally.”
That seems a bit harsh.