IN Focus: Gregg distancing himself from Clinton after attack ads?

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INDIANAPOLIS - It's a dilemma for candidates on both sides of the aisle in this very unusual election year- how closely do you associate yourself with or distance yourself from your party's candidate for President, in a year where the two major parties have nominated two of the more unpopular candidates of all time?

In the state of Indiana, Democrat Hillary Clinton trails in the polls by double digits, and for gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, it's not an easy question to answer, especially after a series of attack ads from the Republican Governors Association that have tried to tie Gregg and Clinton on a series of issues.

On this week's edition of IN Focus, Gregg was asked multiple times if he supported Clinton for President, but he wouldn't directly answer.

"I think Hoosiers are pretty sophisticated when it comes to voting," said Gregg, in the video above. "I think most Hoosiers look beyond the party line. When they started attacking me back in May, when you don't have a record, that's what you have to do, so I can live with that."

Gregg was also asked why he didn't appear at any of Clinton's campaign events, and actually said he was not aware she had been in the state this year, when in fact, she did make a handful of appearances before the May primary, and at the Mayor's conference in Indianapolis this summer.

"He is obviously a Democrat and supports the Democratic nominee for President- although he doesn't always agree with her or anyone 100% of the time," said campaign communications director Jeff Harris, who also added that Gregg said he would support the party's nominee throughout the primary process.

"I'm not running from anybody, I'm running for governor," Gregg said. "I leave all that stuff to the pundits. I focus on the state issues, I've done that from day one... We focus on the issues because that's what Hoosiers want to hear from a governor."

One key issue for Gregg is the economy, and dealing with the aftermath of last year's controversial religious freedom law. Gregg says he disputes the notion that Indiana's economy is as strong as his opponents suggest.

"Hoosiers aren’t buying into that argument that my opponent puts out," said Gregg. "The truth is, in the last four years under my opponent and his bosses, we’ve slid four more places in per capita income, 34thto 38th. That’s because they’ve focused on social issues, that’s because they’ve embarrassed the state."

See more of our interview with Gregg on next week's edition of IN Focus, as we hear directly from the candidates on specific issues affecting the state ahead of this year's election.

"It's about serving, having that servant's heart, dealing with those issues that seem almost insurmountable, trying to bring people together to find common ground- that's the big difference between my opponent and I," said Gregg.  "My focus has been on the governor's race, it's not a consolation prize, and I want to serve as governor."

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