LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The competing Republican campaigns in Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate election are accusing each other of a pattern of untruths, most recently in the controversy over challenger Matt Bevin's LinkedIn account.
“Misrepresenting yourself on your resume is an issue that speaks to the core of someone's willingness to willfully mislead people when it suits their purposes,” McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore told The Hill, a Washington, D.C. newspaper.
"McConnell is... when you're desperate, lying is all you've got," Bevin told WHAS11 in a Tuesday interview.
On Tuesday, the McConnell campaign released a commercial citing a March story in The Hill, which had reported that Bevin edited the "Education" section of his LinkedIn account after the newspaper began asking questions about its accuracy.
Bevin had listed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the top of his Education profile despite never having attended MIT. Lower on Bevin's LinkedIn page, Bevin explained that he was a graduate of a program that was held "at the MIT Endicott House."
University officials, however, told The Hill that the program has no connection to MIT, MIT Sloan or the MIT Sloan Executive Education.
“It is not a Masters program, certificate or any other kind of MIT program and does not bear any MIT credit whatsoever,” said Kate Anderson, the director of marketing and enrollment at MIT’s Sloan Executive Education program.
“There is a very disturbing and unmistakable pattern developing with Matt Bevin's background where he simply isn't who he says he is,” Moore said. “It's also disturbing that both the Waycross partners bio and his LinkedIn resume included separate but very significant inflations to his resume that are presumably designed to lure potential investors into his business.”
The Hill reported that Bevin had vouched for the accuracy of his LinkedIn page in an interview one week before amending it.
The newspaper also reported that Bevin had edited the description of his professional experience on LinkedIn.
Bevin changed his LinkedIn page shortly after correcting a biography that misstated his position at Invesco-NAM, a Kentucky-based division of Invesco, the global investment firm.
The biography inaccurately stated that he was the director of product management at Invesco, which would have entailed broader responsibilities. It was posted on the website of Waycross Partners, a Louisville-based investment advisory firm, which listed Bevin as a partner and adviser.
In the WHAS11 interview, Bevin denied that his LinkedIn account was misleading, adding that no one with experience on LinkedIn would have concluded that he had graduated from MIT.
Bevin said McConnell's campaign invented the narrative that Bevin had claimed to have graduated from MIT.
"His claim that I have claimed the things he's claiming is ridiculous," Bevin said. "I've never claimed ever, not now not ever, to have been a graduate of MIT."
"I did attend a program called the "Entrepreneurial Masters Program,' at MIT," Bevin explained, at one of their satellite campuses, and it's called the Endicott House, to be specific. It's a national program. It's been in place for twenty something years. People like Michael Dell and Ted Leonisis and others have been through this."
"If people think that that should be confused with a degree, then my gracious it's a sad commentary on (McConnell's) fact checkers and his (opposition research) people," Bevin said.
A resume expert told The Hill in March that Bevin’s LinkedIn page was misleading.
“That implies to me that he attended MIT and if that is not the case then he is misrepresented and included non-accurate information,” Wendy Enelow said.
"I've never claimed to be, never, not even the things that they think substantiate their argument, has there ever been any indication that I am a graduate of MIT," Bevin said. "No claim to that end. No degree claimed. It says exactly what it has always said."
Bevin bemoaned the media's attention to the controversy.
"This is absolute silliness," Bevin said, "this nonsense is not what the people of Kentucky want to talk about. It's not how this race is going to be won. It's desperate, it's pathetic, and it's absolute evidence of the fact that this man has done nothing for the past thirty years that's worthy of his being reelected, and he knows it."
Bevin said his campaign has been met by "standing room only" crowds while McConnell "has to go around and hand select people in closed environments with no questions."
"They want to talk about real issues; they want to talk about the economy," Bevin told WHAS11. "They want to talk about the erosion of their constitutional rights, the rights to privacy. They want to talk about someone who wants to be reelected after having bailed out all sorts of irresponsible people with our money."
"These are the issues that people want to talk about," Bevin continued. "That's the issues I'm talking about and that's why I can fill a room with people who are not hand selected."
Bevin said his confidence level has soared since he announced his candidacy.
"I am far more confident that I was three and a half weeks ago. Unbelievably so," Bevin said. "I was confident then, it's becoming blazingly obvious that he will lose this seat."
Bevin cited an article in The Hill which reported that Democrats would rather face McConnell then Bevin in the general election.
"He is not going to be the primary winner and this seat will stay in Republican hands," Bevin said. "but the only way it's going to stay in Republican hands is if I am the senator."