McConnell and McGrath debate over COVID-19, term limits in race for Senate

Updated: Oct. 12, 2020 at 11:50 AM CDT
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Democrat Amy McGrath and Republican Mitch McConnell debated one another in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country Monday.

It was the first and only time that people would see these two go head to head in a debate just 22 days ahead of the election.

The debate comes one day before early in-person voting starts in Kentucky.

Some topics McGrath and McConnell debated on several topics including extra coronavirus relief money, Supreme Court nomination so close to an election, health care, and mail-in voting.

“I give the president, the White House and this Congress an ‘F’ for its handling of the coronavirus,” McGrath said, adding that America makes up 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of all coronavirus cases.

“What I did was shepherd through the Senate an almost $3 trillion Coronavirus relief bill which has provided $13 million for Kentucky,” said McConnell.

On the topic of term limits, McGrath reiterated a popular, anti-McConnell refrain about his decades working in the senate; McConnell responded with a note about Biden being in Washington even longer.

“I’m amused by her advocacy,” McConnell said of his challenger, adding that if term limits been in place, Biden’s Senate tenure would have expired before McConnell was voted in more than 35 years ago.

McGrath says term limits are among President Donald Trump’s top issues and that she agrees with him.

The two even focused on the handling of the Breonna Taylor case.

“Law enforcement has to apply the law and they’re doing the best they can," stated McConnell. "I think in terms of justice in America, we have to follow the laws that are written.”

“I think leaders have to take a step back and recognize that we need change in this country," expressed McGrath. "That there is systemic racism in this country and we need to tackle issues of equity and equality.”

The pair also touched on the increasing layoffs in the Commonwealth’s coal industry.

“I have produced both guaranteed healthcare benefits and pension benefits for coal miners and delivered retraining dollars so they can get new jobs to be employed once again,” said McConnell.

“Six years ago Senator McConnell sat here and said you have to vote for me, all your coal jobs will come back," stated McGrath. "Meanwhile, in the last six years, we’ve lost 60% of coal jobs.”

The Republican Party of Kentucky released the following statement on Monday’s U.S. Senate debate:

“Leader Mitch McConnell was the clear winner of tonight’s debate. While Amy McGrath supports extreme positions like open borders and flip-flops on key issues such as Supreme Court appointments, Leader McConnell fights every day to put Kentucky families, businesses and workers first. Tonight’s debate showed us once again that as the only member of congressional leadership not from New York or California, Leader McConnell is an indispensable voice for Kentucky in Washington.” – Republican Party of Kentucky Executive Director Sarah Van Wallaghen

You can watch the full debate below:

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