Mitch McConnell's camp released a statement today, after a report came out last month that Bevin spoke at a pro-cockfighting event. The organizer of the American Game-Fowl Defense Network says the event was held to push for legalizing cockfighting at the state level. Cockfighting is illegal nationwide.
Bevin said he did not realize the event had anything to do with cockfighting.
Mitch McConnell's camp released the following statement tonight:
"Matt Bevin's cockfighting episode will go down in history as one of the most disqualifying moments in Kentucky political history. Twenty years from now, we will all remember the time when the East Coast con-man thought so little of Kentuckians that he pathologically lied to us about absolutely everything until an undercover camera caught him red-handed at a cockfighting rally."
Bevin has been on the defense lately and issued a statement today to reports that he supports cockfighting:
"A month ago, I was invited to Corbin to discuss my candidacy at an event where folks had gathered to address various states' rights issues.
"I am genuinely sorry that my attendance at an event which, other than my comments, appears to have primarily involved a discussion of cockfighting, has created concern on the part of many Kentucky voters. I understand that concern.
"I am not and have never been, a supporter of cockfighting or any other forms of animal cruelty.
"I am, however, a strong supporter of states' rights. Regardless of any personal views on this issue, animal rights are not an enumerated power granted to the federal government under the Constitution. Such decisions should be left to each state to decide.
"I made the decision to speak at the gathering in Corbin because I support our 10th Amendment rights, not because I support or condone every topic discussed at the event."
Eyewitness Mews caught up with Bevin this evening, while he was attending the Lincoln Day Dinner in Owensboro.
"I have never been anyone who's ever endorsed cockfighting," said Bevin. "I don't support it. It's illegal for a reason because as society, it's not something that we condone nor do I. But I'm still willing to always defend and support the right of anyone even when I disagree with them to freely assemble and to discuss what they want to with freedom of speech."
The Kentucky Primary elections are scheduled for May 20.