WASHINGTON — Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin continues to face questions about his participation in a pro-cockfighting rally in March, prompting supporters to attack reporters while insisting the Tea Party darling has long been a friend of the animal kingdom.
A Monday press conference ended abruptly when Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next month's primary, was asked about the cockfighting controversy.
As Bevin leaves, an unidentified supporter of Bevin criticizes the assembled reporters for focusing on the incident. "That cockfighting argument is a joke," the man says. "Come on guys, you got better stuff to cover than that crap. Matt Bevin is a true conservative. That cockfighting stuff is a total heat flare."
Then a woman, who identifies herself as Bevin's sister, assures reporters that the conservative Republican does not support animal cruelty. "I'm his sister. He's always been very good to animals, OK? All his life. I remember him rescuing a hummingbird, and he got it to actually ride on his shoulder," the woman says.
Cn|2's Pure Politics site posted a video of the exchange earlier.
Bevin's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
Contact John Stanton at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.