FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Two weeks from today, Kentucky will elect its next governor. Last night, the candidates met in their most contentious debate yet. However, on some of the toughest issues, it was hard to get a straight answer.
“One of the first things you’re taught is you don’t have to answer the question that was directly put to you if it’s something that makes you uncomfortable or would bring in a negative answer,” FOX 56 News Political Analyst Jonathan Miller said. Miller, a former state treasurer familiar with the debate stage, said, as frustrating as it may be for those watching, it’s a tactic that works but can run the risk of turning off voters if overused.
“Do you agree with Mitch McConnell that the president was responsible for the attack on January 6th? Why or why not,” moderator Renee Shaw asked early in the debate.
“Look, I’m proud to be endorsed by President Trump. In fact,” Attorney General Daniel Cameron said before quickly being cut off by Shaw.
“Do you believe he was responsible for the January 6th insurrection?” she asked.
“Look, I’m proud to be endorsed by President Trump. And President Trump is such a big deal in this race that Andy Beshear ran in a campaign ad nearly two weeks ago trying to tout there was some relationship between him and Donald Trump,” Cameron responded.
“So many times, you see politicians taking a different spin on a question or giving a different answer when, if they say something directly, they might be locked down,” Miller told FOX 56.
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A similar back and forth occurred on a discussion over public education and private school vouchers, where Gov. Andy Beshear accused Cameron of ducking questions. However, there were some questions to which Beshear, too, gave an indirect answer. On COVID, the governor was pressed on if he had any regrets.
“Did you go too far?” Shaw asked.
“I believe we made the best decisions we could with the information we had,” Beshear said.
And on abortion, neither candidate made their stance clear.
“From a personal conviction, do you believe that in cases of rape or incest, abortion should be a legal option for women in Kentucky? Yes or no, sir,” Shaw asked Cameron, phrasing the question a second time.
“Look, if the legislature brings me that bill, I will sign those exceptions,” Cameron said, echoing previous answers he’s given to the question without acknowledging if he would personally advocate for the legislature to pass said bill.
“Do you believe that a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy at any point in her pregnancy into the ninth month?” Shaw asked Beshear. “I am in favor of reasonable restrictions on abortion, especially late-term abortions,” Beshear said, again echoing prior answers he’s given on the subject without offering specifics.