Bevin explosion video firing up both fans and foes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The latest video from Gov. Matt Bevin is blowing up social media, firing up both his fans and his critics.

Bevin shot the video at the Eddyville prison gun range in western Kentucky.

“When I was elected a couple of years ago, I talked about blowing up things like red tape, blowing up things like corruption,” Bevin said on the video.

He then had a blast – literally – as he tossed a grenade into the air. The device exploded, and the word “red tape” was superimposed on the screen.

A series of other explosions were accompanied by the words “corruption,” “pay to play,” and “inside deals.” A fifth grenade exploded to reveal the slogan “#WeareKY.”

The video ended with Bevin and members of his cabinet walking through a cloud of smoke.

User: Governor Matt Bevin To: link

“It was pretty genius, because everyone's going to pay attention to it,” Republican consultant Les Fugate said.

Fugate said the video successfully blows through the political clutter.

“He's different,” Fugate said. “And in this day and age in politics, I think that's an important message to get across.”

But Bevin’s opponents said it's the wrong message.

Brad Bowman, the campaign spokesman for Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat running to replace Bevin, released the following statement:

"A governor should act with decency, dignity and maturity. This video shows why Kentuckians will make a change in 2019. In the meantime, Gov. Bevin should refund every tax dollar used to make this video."

Bevin dismissed criticism of the tax dollars used to make the video. He said the munitions were expiring and would have gone to waste. 

“For anybody who honestly thinks, my goodness gracious, the amount of waste and corruption that this state sadly has ridden herd on and ignored for many, many, many years ... If people worry about a few hundred dollars of expiring munitions being expended, that's a sad mis-focus,” Bevin said.

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is also not a fan of the video.

“It's one of the most bizarre things I've seen out of a public official,” he said.

Yarmuth said he was “shocked and disturbed” by what he saw.

“With no pun intended, I'm sure it will backfire with a large number of Kentuckians,” Yarmuth  said. “If you're already the fourth least popular governor in the United States, I don't know how that improves your popularity.”

But Fugate said even the criticism helps Bevin, because it draws more attention to the video. He credited Bevin with being the first Kentucky governor to take advantage of social media.

“He really is blazing a path forward on social media," he said. "Not just here in Kentucky, but nationally. He sets a standard for how to communicate."

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