Kentucky AG navigates GOP feud as he files for governor

FRANKFORT, Kentucky (AP) — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Tuesday that navigating the chasm between former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a crowded Republican state governor. Said he has shown his ability to keep Republican factions together while trying to beat the primary. 2023.

Faced with the challenges of a highly competitive primary in the Red State, Cameron found himself in the middle of a feud between Trumps. supported Cameron’s governor’s bid — and McConnell, the political leader of the state where the Attorney General is based.

Cameron hedged Tuesday when asked about the feud after submitting his candidacy papers to remove Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. Cameron once served as McConnell’s legal counsel.

“They have their differences,” Cameron told reporters at the Kentucky State Capitol. “I think what our candidacy means is that we can unite people across different factions within the Republican Party. And I think that’s what this candidacy ultimately represents. .”

Trump, who has remained popular at the party’s base since McConnell agreed to formally prove Trump’s 2020 Electoral College defeat to Joe Biden and criticized the former president, has been seen at rallies and on social media. He has repeatedly lashed out at McConnell in media posts. ferocious floor speechThe two leading figures in the Republican Party have since issued a barrage of acerbic public statements as they battle over what their party should look like in the future.

Cameron showed no signs of wanting to get lost in the middle of the fray when asked about Trump’s social media attacks on McConnell.

Cameron said of McConnell, “I’m proud to have known him. I’m honored to have worked for him. He meant a lot to our family. And I love him.” Like Senator McConnell has. He’s a big boy and can fight his own battle. He doesn’t need me to intervene.

Cameron contradicts himself by admitting that Biden was “legally elected President of the United States.” baseless claims By Trump that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Cameron also declined to be complicit in the January 6 committee decision of the House of Representatives. criminal charges against trump For the violent 2021 Capitol riots.

“I’ll let others in the Justice Department decide on that,” Cameron said, adding that the campaign was “focused on Kentucky.”

Cameron felt no qualms about Biden’s presidency, especially his handling of economic and energy issues, and was more likely to move toward a safer political base for Republican primary candidates when he tried to tie Beshear to a Democratic president. proceeded.

“That’s why inflation is running out of control,” Cameron said.

Cameron has voiced his support for the Kentucky coal industry. Although the industry has been in decline for years, it remains a major problem in the coalfields of eastern and western Kentucky.

Beshear remains popular during a period overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and weather disasters.Response to Tornado hits western Kentucky late 2021 and Historic Flood Inundates Parts of Eastern Kentucky last summer. Although he clashed with the Republican-controlled Congress, his record includes some of the greatest economic development successes in the state’s history.

Cameron is among the crowded Republicans for May’s gubernatorial primary, which includes state agricultural commissioner Ryan Quarles, former U.N. ambassador Kelly Craft, state auditor Mike Harmon, and former attorney Eric Ditters. is part of the field of

Cameron on Tuesday continued to promote his opposition to abortion, Beshear’s legal battle against pandemic-related restrictions, and his work fighting the state’s opioid epidemic.

“Especially in today’s environment, I think you need someone who does this job with a smile on their face while also upholding their principles and values,” Cameron said.