By Alexander Bolton - 08/21/13 11:15 PM EDT
The race between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and challenger Matt Bevin has grown heated over the question of whether Bevin lied about going to MIT.
Bevin accused McConnell of lying after the GOP leader challenged his opponent for claiming to have graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a posting on the LinkedIn website.
Bevin fired back Tuesday, telling Louisville television station WHAS11 it was McConnell who was lying. “It's a lie, plain and simple,” Bevin said of McConnell’s ad. “He made the claim that I said this and refuted it. And he's being given a tremendous amount of credence by folks for making up lies and then pointing out that it's a lie, when he's the one inventing them."
Bevin scoffed at the possibility that anybody with experience on LinkedIn could have concluded from his profile that he had graduated from MIT.
“Clearly, Mitch McConnell — not being part of the real world — doesn't understand how people in the private sector work," Bevin said, according to WHAS11. "This isn't even a resume. It's an online basically database of information of things people have done and where they currently are."
The Hill reported in March that Bevin had listed his education as MIT in the headline section of the LinkedIn page, even though a spokeswoman for MIT disputed that the program cited was formally affiliated with the university.
The Hill captured a screen shot of Bevin’s profile, which he immediately revised after being contacted by a reporter. The Hill has altered the screen shot to remove images and names of unrelated people.
Bevin had vouched for the accuracy of his LinkedIn page in an interview a week before amending it.
“The ‘bio’ that is listed on LinkedIn is the one that is correct as it is the only one that I personally created,” he wrote via email.
Wendy Enelow, executive director of the Resume Writing Academy and author of more than 20 résumé and career books, told The Hill in March that Bevin’s LinkedIn page was misleading. “That implies to me that he attended MIT, and if that is not the case, then he is misrepresented and included non-accurate information,” she said.
Bevin listed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the top of his educational profile.
Below that he stated he was a 2008 graduate of the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at the MIT Endicott campus. He described it as a “renowned executive education program sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Inc. Magazine and the Entrepreneurs Organization.”
MIT officials say the program has no connection to their university.
Kate Anderson, the director of marketing and enrollment at MIT’s Sloan Executive Education program, told The Hill earlier this year that the program Bevin attended was “not an official program offered by MIT, MIT Sloan or MIT Sloan Executive Education.”
“It is not a Masters program, certificate or any other kind of MIT program and does not bear any MIT credit whatsoever,” she said.
Anderson added that MIT does not have an Endicott campus although she noted there is a conference center called the MIT Endicott House, which is rented to outside groups.
McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman on Wednesday hit Bevin for what she described as a pattern of misleading information.
“Misrepresenting yourself on your résumé is an issue that speaks to the core of someone's willingness to willfully mislead people when it suits their purposes,” said Allison Moore.
“There is a very disturbing and unmistakable pattern developing with Matt Bevin's background where he simply isn't who he says he is,” she added. “It's also disturbing that both the Waycross Partners bio and his LinkedIn résumé included separate but very significant inflations to his résumé that are presumably designed to lure potential investors into his business.”
Bevin changed his LinkedIn page shortly after correcting a biography that misstated his position at Invesco-NAM, a Kentucky-based division of Invesco, the global investment firm.
The biography inaccurately stated that he was the director of product management at Invesco, which would have entailed broader responsibilities. It was posted on the website of Waycross Partners, a Louisville-based investment advisory firm, which listed Bevin as a partner and adviser.
Bevin at the time said he was not responsible for the biography published by Waycross.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat who is expected to face the winner of next year’s Kentucky Republican primary, on Tuesday played down the significance of Bevin’s claimed ties to MIT.
“I think that Kentuckians aren't focused on lines on a résumé," she told WHAS11 in an interview.
"They're worried about the lines in an unemployment line. And they want to have a senator who stands up, actually has a voice fighting for Kentuckians, not against them.”
Bevin had avoided criticizing Lundergan Grimes at the Fancy Farm political gathering in Kentucky.