Sen. Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath debate about pandemic, SCOTUS, Breonna Taylor


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The first and possibly only debate between Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and retired marine Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath was a civil affair.

It highlighted what many are used to hearing a lot of “M’s”…Mcgrath, a marine and mom and McConnell, majority leader.

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The debate hosted by WKYT and the University of Kentucky student government began with the pandemic.

“Well, I give the President, the White House and this Congress an ‘F’,” McGrath said.

Meanwhile, McConnell pointing out he helped give Americans a $2 trillion relief package.

But that was in March, what about a second one?

“We’ve been negotiating, trying to put something reasonable together that actually attacks the problem,” McConnell said.

Then, pointing the finger at Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The Speaker of the House has clearly not been interested in getting an outcome that’s why the talks have gone on for a while,” McConnell said.

Coronavirus and how to handle it took up about the first third of the 57 minute debate.

Another timely topic, the U.S. Supreme Court nomination hearings that began Monday.

“Nobody should be voting on a Supreme Court nominee right now,” McGrath said.

McConnell says all the back and forth about if a vote should happen is taking away from, what he says, is a great, respectable nomination.

Then came the question many in Kentucky and America are asking, was justice served for Breonna Taylor?

“In regard to the Taylor case, the law sometimes as Judge Barrett pointed out in her hearing this morning, the result that we all hope for,” McConnell said.

Adding that Taylor’s death was an incredible tragedy, and McGrath agreed.

Then switching gears to reforms she’d propose.

“I think leaders have to take a step back and recognize that we need change in this country that there is systemic racism,” McGrath said.

The debate wrapping up with this: Does McConnell’s powerful position as Senate Majority Leader matter enough to Kentuckians to keep him there.

“How’s Kentucky looking? Are you better off than you were 6 years ago?” McGrath said.

“Or do you want to continue to have one of the four congressional leaders from our state looking out for Kentucky,” McConnell said.

After the debate, Amy McGrath spoke virtually with reporters. Mitch McConnell did not.

Mcgrath saying ‘yes, absolutely’ she’d like to debate again.


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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or