Bevin caught on tape confirming appearance at cockfighting rally

wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather

Matt Bevin, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) primary challenger, was caught on tape acknowledging he attended a cockfighting rally, despite proclaiming otherwise.

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After the video was taken by an undercover reporter for local news site wave3, McConnell’s spokeswoman Allison Moore called Bevin's cockfighting snafu “one of the most disqualifying moments in Kentucky political history."

Bevin has taken fire from the McConnell campaign for attending the rally earlier this month, which Bevin has said he thought was simply a states’ rights rally, and didn’t know it had anything to do with cockfighting.

But the video shows him answering a direct question about whether he’d support the effort to legalize gamecock fighting in the state, in the affirmative.

“I support the people of Kentucky exercising their right, because it is our right to decide what it is that we want to do, and not the federal government’s,” he says. “Criminalizing behavior, if it's part of the heritage of this state, is in my opinion a bad idea. A bad idea. I will not support it.”

Bevin’s appearance at the rally made it into a radio ad from the McConnell campaign that tied together a number of other exaggerations or positions McConnell’s team sees as hypocritical and told listeners that Bevin’s “a comedy of errors, but don’t let the joke be on you.” The news that Bevin appears to have lied about the rally plays into McConnell's attacks on the candidate that he's prone to, as one attack ad charged, a "pattern of deceptions."

Moore said Bevin’s cockfighting comments will go down in history as a “pathological lie” from the candidate.

“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,” she said.

Sarah Durand, Bevin's spokeswoman, dismissed the video as a "rehash of an old story," and suggested McConnell was trying to distract from his record.

"Primary voters will have a choice on May 20th between a veteran, small business owner, father of nine who will fight for our conservative values in Matt Bevin, or more of the same old liberal policies from Mitch McConnell," she said. Since McConnell can't defend his record, all he can do is try to make his opponent look worse."

McConnell is heavily favored in the May 20 primary and is expected to go on to face Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) in the general election.

—This piece was updated at 12:10 to reflect comment from Bevin's campaign.

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