Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

The Race to Define McConnell’s Primary Challenger #KYSEN

It’s the race to define Matt Bevin in Kentucky, as the Republican primary challenger kicks off his Senate campaign and a statewide tour Wednesday.

The campaigns of both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Bevin, McConnell’s primary challenger, released TV ads this morning introducing the businessman to Kentucky.

While Bevin took shots at McConnell’s votes and leadership in the Senate in his opening salvo, he also made sure to lay out his résumé: “Matt Bevin: Small-town roots, successful businessman, father of nine, veteran, conservative, Republican for U.S. Senate.”

The McConnell campaign had a different take, labeling the challenger: “Bailout Bevin, not a Kentucky conservative.”

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the Kentucky Senate race Republican Favored.

  • terjeanderson

    Ugly negative personal attacks – the only kind of campaign Mitch McConnell knows how to run. Expect this one (primary and general) to be even nastier than the previous ones.

  • gcarroll247

    Matt Bevin’s company failed to pay taxes, then got a taxpayer bailout dont sound like a conservative to me sounds like a obama supporter to me

  • bishop24230

    terjeanderson – Why is an ad pointing out that a company didn’t pay taxes and received taxpayer money a negative personal attack?

  • terjeanderson

    Because it is inaccurate, misleading and taken out of context.

    The company in question hadn’t paid taxes before Bevin owned it, but according to the tax authorities, one of the first things he did was pay the owed back taxes and bring it up to date.

    As for the “taxpayer money” – yes, his company received state grants in Connecticut. It happened after the bell factory was destroyed in a fire caused by a freak lightening strike – and the grants were used to rebuild and keep the jobs at the factory. It is hardly a “government bailout” for a failed company, or other questionable use of tax money. It is typical of the kind of attack McConnell launches.

    And it speaks volumes that someone who has been in the Senate for 28 years can’t even find something positive in his own record to highlight, instead running ads attacking a little known opponent by twisting and misrepresenting the facts.

  • molosky

    Does it matter that the attack is a lie?

  • bishop24230

    terjeanderson – If what you say is true then it will be easy for Bevin to refute it.

  • terjeanderson

    Bevin and his campaign have refuted it, as have a number of news stories that have interviewed the appropriate people.

    But that doesn’t stop McConnell from spending hundreds of thousands to run the slimeball ad attacking his opponent – and most of the people who see those ads will never read the news stories that set the record straight.

    McConnell will keep running misleading ads – because that’s just the kind of guy he is.

  • gcarroll247

    we will find out if it is a lie or not if mcconnell’s campain lied it will come back on them if bevin’s failed to pay taxes then got a bailout it will hurt him so we will wait and see

  • gcarroll247

    Bevin cant win in the general election the democrat will beat him i would rather have a republican in then a democrat a vote for Bevin will give it to the democrats

  • molosky

    We already know that the unpaid taxes were from before he bought the company, after which he paid them.

    The “bailout” claim is just ridiculous on its face to anyone with a clue. Are there really people who don’t understand what small business grants are? What possible reason is there for a business not to take them? Because they might be accused of not being “true conservatives”? There is not a business in the world that in some way used government money or something purchased with government money.

    A “bailout” is when the government responds to a failure of a business and allocates money to prop it up, not based on an existing program available to all, but as an ad hoc assessment of that company’s importance to the economy. This was done with TARP: the bank bailout that McConnell voted for. This ad is exploiting ignorance, plain and simple.

    So if you believe that McConnell deserves backlash for lying, then we can start right now. Makes you wonder a bit about all of the rest of the things he says huh?

  • gcarroll247
  • molosky

    Yes, this is what I was referring to.

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