Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin further addressed attack ads by incumbent Mitch McConnell’s re-election along with a few other issues in the early primary campaign.
The McConnell campaign is pummeling Bevin’s candidacy by spotlighting how his Connecticut-based bell-making company received a bailout and allegations the business failed to pay its taxes.
Bevin Brothers Manufacturing did receive a $100,000 state grant in the form of a forgivable loan after it was destroyed in a fire last year. But the GOP challenger says the money went to buying needed machinery and represents less than 10 percent of the money being put in to rebuild the company.
Bevin says East Hampton residents lobbied to preserve the company—the last bell manufacturer in the country—and to keep American workers employed.
“If anyone should know a bailout it should be Mitch McConnell,” he says. “If you compare that to the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of our dollars that have been wasted at the hands of career politicians like Mitch McConnell. If he thinks this is a bailout it’s an indication of the fact that he literally has no idea how the private sector works, which isn’t a surprise since he’s never served a day in his life in that sector.
Strong words from the first-time candidate, but McConnell’s backers say there is more to learn about Bevin’s business dealings as time goes on and the tax delinquency allegations are gaining observers attention.
Earlier today Bevin denied he has had any tax troubles and has helped other businesses comply with federal code. According to Politico, a Bevin adviser said the back-taxes were inherited when he took over the bell company from a relative, saying he has since paid them off.
“I’m challenging Mitch McConnell to be man enough to stand on his record and to stop the nonsense of tring to disparage people personally with false attack ads,” Bevin told reporters. “I want him to stand up and tell the people of Kentucky why he deserves another six years.”
Bevin also made it clear he is running as a Republican, but thanked the Tea Party for its support by calling them the “life blood” of the state.
Asked about Senator Rand Paul sticking with his endorsement of McConnell despite his entry in the race, Bevin told me Kentucky’s junior senator made his own decision as all GOP voters will next year.
“Rand Paul is one vote,” says Bevin. “And at the end of the day Rand Paul has decisions he needs to make for himself. I have tremendous respect for Rand Paul. I voted for him twice, and I would vote for him again. But he’s one guy, he has his own interests to look after and he has reasons for the decisions he’s made. At the end of the day the people of Kentucky are qutie smart enough to make decisions for themselves and don’t need to be spoonfed by anybody.”