Trump: Bevin ‘a pain’ but ‘that’s what you want’

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – President Donald Trump is calling incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin a “pain” on the eve of Tuesday’s Kentucky gubernatorial election, but he says he means it in the nicest way.

Addressing a campaign rally Monday in Lexington, Kentucky, Trump said Bevin has frequently prodded him to help court businesses to relocate in his state and bring federal dollars to the state.

Trump says, “He’s such a pain in the ass, but that’s what you want.”

Trump called Bevin a “terrific” governor and said Kentucky is thriving like never before.

The Republican Bevin is facing Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear in Tuesday’s election.

The bitter Kentucky contest is being watched closely for early signs of how the increasingly partisan impeachment furor in Washington might affect Trump and other Republican incumbents in 2020.

Also at the rally, President Trump praised an ally’s call to unmask the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint served as the catalyst for Democrats’ impeachment probe.

Trump says GOP Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky’s call for the whistleblower to be publicly named was “excellent.”

Paul claimed at the rally that the whistleblower’s identity is known, adding, “I say to the media, do your job and print his name.”

U.S. whistleblower laws exist to protect the identities and careers of people who bring forward accusations of wrongdoing by government officials. Lawmakers in both parties have historically backed those protections.

Meantime, Democrat Steve Beshear made a final campaign stop at a Louisville brewery after a whirlwind final tour of the state to challenge Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear was introduced Monday night by running mate Jacqueline Coleman, who called him the man to “end the war on public education.” Beshear asked the crowd, “Are you ready to fight for teachers? Are you ready to beat Matt Bevin? Me too!”

Bevin’s popularity as governor had slumped after he tried to overhaul the state’s public pension systems, which drew protests from teachers and others.

The presidential rally didn’t throw Beshear off his strategy of making the race about state issues. The challenger, in addition to his pledge to improve public schools, stuck to his themes of creating better-paying jobs and protecting health care and public pensions.

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