With the Democratic gubernatorial candidate holding the lead in ruby red Kentucky late on Tuesday night, presidential scion Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News host Laura Ingraham absolved President Trump of any blame for incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s potential loss.
Noting that only a few thousand votes separated Bevin from challenger Andy Beshear and the Associated Press had yet to call the race, Ingraham took issue with other cable news networks tying the results to the president, who held a big campaign rally for Bevin on the eve of the election and literally said his own fate was tied up with that of Bevin's in the race.
“Bevin was the most unpopular governor in the country,” Ingraham said during her Fox program Tuesday night. “Once down 20 points, now it’s still too close to call, 49 percent versus 49 percent.”
After Ingraham placed the blame for the apparent GOP defeat squarely on Bevin’s shoulders, Trump Jr. followed suit while also crediting his father for other Republican victories in the state.
“They don’t mention Trump helped propel those guys to those places,” he exclaimed. “Yes, I like Matt Bevin, he’s been a friend of mine, he’s a good guy, but he has picked a lot of battles and he’s teed off on a lot of people in Kentucky, that’s not always popular, we understand how that works.”
After saying he would have loved to see a Republican win the governor’s seat, Trump Jr. went on to further distance his father from the race.
“This has nothing to do with Trump,” he declared. “They swept the rest of the ticket, did great in Mississippi, et cetera, et cetera.”
The president’s son did not bring up the state races in Virginia, where Democrats took over the state legislature.
Towards the end of her show, Ingraham would remind Fox News viewers that Bevin was highly unpopular and Trump was the only reason the race was as close as it was.
“Trump comes into town, and Trump gets this thing tied up at 49-49,” she asserted. “That’s who brought the race this close. If Trump hadn’t come into town, I can tell you what would have happened. This race would probably have been a ten-point race for the Democrats.”
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, released a statement late Tuesday evening praising the president for Republicans winning other Kentucky state offices while personally crediting him for Bevin’s close race.
“The President just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said. “A final outcome remains to be seen.”