The conservative primary challenger to Mitch McConnell said during a radio interview this week he has “always supported” Republicans over Democrats in previous elections.
But is that actually true?
Donor records and previous statements made by the candidate, Matt Bevin, a Republican businessman in Kentucky, indicate that’s not the case.
Appearing on the Andrea Tantaros Show on Monday, Bevin was asked if he voted for McConnell, the Senate minority leader, in previous elections.
“I have voted for Mitch McConnell in the past because I’ve always supported the Republican over the Democrat, in this state and at the national level as well,” Bevin told Tantaros.
But Bevin has a history of supporting candidates from other parties.
In 2004, for example, Bevin has previously admitted he voted for a conservative alternative to Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush.
“I have a Peroutka for President T-shirt from 2004 in my drawer,” Bevin told National Review Online, referring to Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka. “In ’04, I was just so fed up with the choices that we were given.”
At the local level, records show that he donated money to Democratic state representative candidate Wendy Caswell in 2012 and Louisville mayoral candidate Greg Fischer in 2009.
But a Bevin campaign aide explained to The Daily Caller that while Bevin has supported people in other parties, he has never supported a Democrat over a Republican.
There was no Republican in the race when Bevin gave money Caswell, the founder and current president of the Louisville Tea Party. “The Louisville Tea Party has lots of fiscally conservative Democratic members, including Wendy,” the aide said.
As for Bevin’s donations to Fischer, the aide pointed out that Bevin donated to his campaign in the primary and simultaneously to Republican Hal Heiner in the primary “to help make sure the best qualified candidates from each party would run in the general.”
“In the general election, he supported and donated to Hal Heiner, the Republican,” the aide said.
As more evidence of his support for Republicans, Bevin’s campaign also pointed that the Louisville Courier-Journal indicated Bevin was the fourth largest donor to the Kentucky Republican Party in the days leading up to the 2012 election.
It’s a topic that McConnell’s campaign has been hitting Bevin on. They released a video earlier this week criticizing the challenger for his support of non-Republican candidates.
“Matt Bevin wants Kentucky voters to believe he is a tea party conservative, but just like everything else he’s said since becoming a candidate, he’s simply not telling the truth,” McConnell campaign press secretary Allison Moore said.