Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) said on Tuesday that he was “honored” to have Donald Trump’s endorsement in the state’s gubernatorial race when asked about it just hours after a jury sided with the writer E. Jean Carroll in her case against the former president.
Cameron was asked during a televised debate in the Kentucky GOP gubernatorial primary about his thoughts on the endorsement in light of the Tuesday verdict, which found Trump liable for sexual battery and defamation against Carroll.
“I don’t know the specifics of the civil complaint, and I understand it was something that involved something 30 years ago, but I’m honored to have President Trump’s endorsement,” Cameron said.
“I do know that Alvin Bragg in New York has weaponized the political system in the judicial system to try to destroy President Trump,” the state attorney general added, referencing Trump’s indictment in a probe of hush-money payments to an adult film star during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Cameron made those comments while appearing at a televised debate alongside Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and suspended attorney Eric Deters on Tuesday ahead of next week’s Kentucky gubernatorial primary.
The three are among a handful of Republicans vying for the GOP nomination to take on Gov. Andy Beshear (D) this fall. Cameron, Quarles and Deters qualified to participate in the debate. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft also qualified to participate in the debate but did not take part in the event.
The debate, which was hosted by multiple Nexstar affiliates, offered voters their last chance to see several of the gubernatorial candidates on a televised debate stage before next Tuesday’s primary. The Hill is owned by Nexstar Media Group.
Quarles, asked too about the verdict and whether he would support Trump in 2024, noted that they were “still finding out the details” adding that he wasn’t basing his campaign off of the support of one individual but state lawmakers, judge executives and others who had backed his campaign.
“I believe the verdict is a bunch of balderdash. I believe the woman is lying. I believe it is contrived and the verdict itself is inconsistent. She said she was raped. They found him not guilty of rape, but sexual assault. It makes no sense,” Deters said.
The candidates were also asked to elaborate on their personal histories or previous incidents. Deters was asked about pleading guilty to several charges after a criminal complaint said that the attorney had chased his nephew with his truck while his sister-in-law separately received harassing messages from him, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“It was a vendetta and political prosecution, and it’s much ado about nothing. You can be guilty of menacing If you scare somebody,” Deters said in part during the debate.
Cameron was asked about his handling of the Breonna Taylor case in 2020 and the office’s limited scope of the investigation. The state attorney general has received criticism for how he handled the case, which resulted in one officer being charged while two others involved in the shooting were not.
“We looked at what happened that night again, again from the very beginning, everyone was focused on what happened at the apartment that night… [Jefferson] Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine who’s now passed and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, when he was conflicted out of the case, that is what we were looking at. Again, everybody knew that from the very beginning,” Cameron said.
“I understand that the far left and there are some Democrats that want to paint a different narrative and a different picture, but everybody knew what we were looking at from the very beginning,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, Quarles was asked about his decision to reschedule his appearance at an event that also included one of the officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting.
“For me, we decided to reschedule because as a candidate, I felt like our campaign deserved the same sort of environment as other candidates,” Quarles explained, alluding to the fact in his answer that there was controversy around the event.
Polling from Emerson College Polling and Fox 56 Lexington released last month showed Cameron in the lead with 30 percent support, followed by Craft with 24 percent support. Quarles received 15 percent while the rest of the contenders each received less than 10 percent.
That polling still showed 21 percent undecided, however.
Beating Beshear in the fall will be no easy feat given that the red state Democrat enjoys an unusually high amount of support in a state that Trump won in 2020. Polling from Morning Consult released last month showed the Kentucky Democrat with 63 percent approval rating.