After cockfighting controversy, Bevin trying to focus on the eco - WDRB 41 Louisville News

After cockfighting controversy, Bevin trying to focus on the economy

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin holds a news conference April 28 to refocus message on economy. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin holds a news conference April 28 to refocus message on economy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After a controversial appearance at a cockfighting rally, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin is trying to get back on message.

Questions surrounding the cockfighting issue side-tracked Bevin's campaign, but with the primary less than a month away, Bevin is trying to change the subject.

He is going after Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on the issue of job creation.

"I'm the only one in this race who truly understands what it's like to create jobs," the Louisville businessman told reporters during a news conference on Monday.

Bevin was trying to re-focus attention on his main message -- the economy.

Without specifically mentioning his controversial appearance at a pro-cockfighting rally last month, Bevin chastised the news media for focusing on issues he says are not important.

"I'm begging those of you in the media to appreciate the fact, this is not a game. It's fun for the snark. It's fun to have the banter back and forth, but what is at stake is significant," he said.

But Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign is trying to make sure the cockfighting issue remains front and center with a new radio ad pointing out that Bevin has become the subject of late-night comedy shows.

It's part of McConnell's continuing effort to call Bevin's character and judgment into question. But Bevin is having none of it.

"The man is a coward. He hides behind other people's money and he tells lies about my character; impunes me," said Bevin.

Kentucky's junior Senator Rand Paul, who has endorsed McConnell, declined to jump into the cockfighting controversy.

"I don't really have a comment on it," said Paul.

When WDRB asked whether it was an important issue, Paul again declined to comment.

Now Bevin is going on the offensive, blasting McConnell for a statement he made to a newspaper in eastern Kentucky, in which he said it was "not my job" to bring jobs to the region.

"I think people were rightly offended by that. Mitch McConnell seems to be focused on one job and one job only, and that's keeping his own," said Bevin.

For the record, McConnell says his comments were taken out of context.

And, for the record, Bevin says he does not support cock-fighting.

Bevin plans to unveil his jobs plan this Thursday in Hazard, Kentucky.

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