LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Kentucky inches closer to Election Day, the race for the governor’s seat continues to heat up.
Governor Matt Bevin and attorney general Andy Beshear traded jabs throughout the third debate, but one moment in particular caught everyone’s attention.
The tense exchange happened when Bevin countered Beshear against legalizing casino gambling in the state. Beshear says Kentucky is losing out on revenue because residents are crossing over to Indiana to gamble and he wants it to support chronically underfunded pension system.
Beshear called out Bevin’s stance, referencing a July radio interview he did with WKDZ where he said, “Every night somewhere in America, somebody takes their life in a casino because they've wasted the last semblance of dignity and hope that they had.”
Bevin never provided any scientific proof of his comment but stood by them when confronted in early August by WHAS11 political editor Chris Williams.
Here’s a verbatim of the heated exchange during the debate.
Beshear: This is just more of the same from a governor who says that someone commits a suicide on a casino floor every night and that our teachers who came to the capitol to support public education somehow caused sexual assault of children. This isn’t true, and none of that is true either.
Bevin: I don’t know where this comment about casino is. I’ve never said anything like that in my life, that’s absolute malarkey.
Beshear: You deny saying that?
Bevin: I do deny saying it.
Beshear: It’s on tape.
Bevin: No, it isn’t on tape. You’re not telling the truth. Again, the truth matters. And if it’s on tape, I want you to produce that tape and show people where I said this happens on the floor of casinos.
According to the Associated Press, technically, Beshear’s claim that the governor referred to suicides on casino floors was off the mark. Bevin referred to casinos in general in the interview with the Cadiz, Kentucky, radio station.
Sunday afternoon, Beshear pulled his card and posted the audio recording of Bevin’s interview with WKDZ Cadiz.
He added to his Twitter post, “In last night’s debate, Matt Bevin tried to say with absolute certainty that he never made his false and erratic claim that someone commits suicide in a casino every night. @MattBevin, you asked for the tape, so we found it for you.”
Beshear also said the state should have a commonsense plan for expanded gaming and direct 100% of the new revenue to fund pensions for public servants.
Bevin didn't share a response on social media.