In 2010, U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle (R) raised a few eyebrows when she told Nevada voters that job creation wouldn’t be her priority if elected. “As your U.S. senator, I’m not in the business of creating jobs,” she said, adding, “People ask me, ‘What are you gonna do to develop jobs in your state?’ Well that’s not my job as a U.S. senator, to bring industry to this state.”
It was an early hint that perhaps Angle wasn’t quite up to the task at hand.
Four years later, has a far more experienced candidate made the same mistake? The Huffington Post’s Samantha Lachman reported yesterday that the Beattyville Enterprise ran a front-page piece this week that Kentuckians will likely be hearing a lot more about.
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell said Friday that it is not his responsibility to bring jobs to Kentucky.Appearing in Beattyville, McConnell was asked by The Beattyville Enterprise what he was going to do to bring jobs to Lee County.“Economic development is a Frankfort issue,” McConnell said. “That is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet.”Asked about public works projects McConnell said he is interested in bringing public works to the state. “Most comes from the state, though,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ (D) campaign has pounced on the comments and it seems like a safe bet that campaign ads on the subject are on the way.
For his part, McConnell’s office issued a statement from the senator saying, “Unfortunately, it seems my message got lost in translation, and I was surprised to see a headline about my visit that sent the exact opposite message to the one I was trying to convey.”
But the local reporter insists the original report was correct, “word for word.”
…Edmund Shelby, the editor and general manager of the Beattyville Enterprise who wrote the story, said he “100 percent, completely” stands behind the story as it appeared on his paper’s front page on Thursday. He said his published account represented his conversation with McConnell “word for word.”
Given contemporary campaign norms, one might expect a “tracker” would have recorded McConnell’s comments and could shed additional light on this. But I spoke with a knowledgeable Democratic source in Kentucky this morning who said there is no recording.