Apr 16, 2018, 6:35 AM ET

Kentucky Gov. Bevin apologizes to 'those who were hurt' by child sex abuse remarks

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin apologized on Sunday to "those who were hurt" by recent comments he made about children being at risk for sexual abuse and drug use while teachers in the state are on strike.

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Bevin, a Republican, apologized for comments he made on Friday after state lawmakers voted to override his vetoes of a tax bill and operating budget that would have directed more funds toward public education.

“Clearly a tremendous number of people did not fully appreciate what I was communicating, or what it was that I was trying to say and I hurt a lot of people,” Bevin said in a nearly four-minute Facebook video posted on Sunday. “I apologize for those who were hurt by the things that were said, that was not my intent whatsoever."

PHOTO: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Capitol, in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 16, 2018.Timothy D. Easley/AP, FILE
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Capitol, in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 16, 2018.

Bevin came under fire on Friday after saying children would be sexually assaulted and poisoned as a result of an ongoing teachers strike throughout his state. Many called his statement insulting to teachers and insensitive to victims of abuse.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin said Friday, just moments after the vote. “I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent doesn’t have any money to take care of them.

“Some were introduced to drugs for the first time — because they were vulnerable and left alone,” he added.

But on Sunday, the governor claimed people had misunderstood his earlier statement, which he said were “comments on the unintended consequences of schools being shut down.”

PHOTO: Whitney Walker, second left, and Tracy Kurzendoerfer protest outside of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevins office, March 30, 2018 in Frankfort, Ky.Adam Beam/AP
Whitney Walker, second left, and Tracy Kurzendoerfer protest outside of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's office, March 30, 2018 in Frankfort, Ky.

“It is my responsibility to represent you, not only when I’m speaking to you but also when I’m speaking on your behalf,” Bevin wrote in the caption of Sunday’s video. “It is not my intent to hurt anyone ... but to help us all move forward.”

The video, which was shared more than 3,300 times and viewed over 360,000 times, had more than 10,000 Facebook reactions and comments as of early Monday.

Robin Cooper, one of thousands of educators who protested at the state's Capitol in recent weeks, said she voted for Bevin in 2015, but would never do it again.

"Seriously? That's not much of an apology," Cooper told The Associated Press after watching the video on Sunday. "I think he's gotten so much heat that he had to say something.

"But it still wasn't an apology. It was still him defending his words. Everyone heard his words. I don't know how we can misunderstand his intent. So that just kind of makes me angry," she added.

News - Kentucky Gov. Bevin apologizes to 'those who were hurt' by child sex abuse remarks

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  • mikevietvet68/69

    first off bevin is a republican,that being pointed out i'm sure its his last term in politics in kentucky,i guess he felt the poorer people would not be up in arms over his remarks due to if you come from kentucky politics you can do or say whatever you want to the people,isn't that right mitch and dragon lady?

  • Colinalcarz

    Despite Governor Bevin’s misguided though apparently sincere call for raising attention to the financial woes of teachers and single moms, Kentucky probably won’t do anything about either one. To whatever extent the inaction is due to how poorly phrased his comments were, it is unfortunate that Kentucky’s children will bear the brunt of the consequences.

  • Carrie

    Governor Bevin needs a serious intervention!

  • DuelingDogmas

    "Even worse, some of those kids left alone looked at FOX News and Breitbart, now they are irretrievably lost to the rest of us."

  • Rubber Banned

    The teacher in the image is holding a sign which reads I teach kids to vote, and therefore, implicitly, I teach kids what to vote. This is a major problem with the self assigned intelligentsia on high school and college campus' where educators are presumptuous and self righteous enough to ignore the moral problems of teaching kids to align with their own thinking rather than how to think independently. Teach them how to think critically, not what to think.

  • PanicMoon

    So what happens at night? The weekends? Summer? Christmas vacation? If school is the only safe haven for children in Kentucky, it must be a very dangerous place to raise a child.

  • THEFred

    “Clearly a tremendous number of people did not fully appreciate what I was communicating..."

    Yeah, that's right, blame the listeners.

  • mollydtt

    The only reason he is apologizing is because he as hurt by his own words. Only reason.

  • highway_99

    Politicians are like race horses, at any given time, with enough money, anyone can be elected, or any thoroughbred can win the KY Derby.

  • Thomas

    “I apologize for those who were hurt by the things that were said, that was not my intent whatsoever."

    OK, so what exactly was your intention when you chose to use those words?

  • td vtt

    No need to apologize, Gov. Kentucky and the nation can now see you as you really are - blathering and all.

  • JohnJ

    Somebody wanted Matt Bevin as Governor very seriously in 2015. Down ballot Republicans polling better than him in their races lost in the same election he 'won'. We need to have all paper ballots, hand counted, if we are to have a chance at restoring democracy.

  • Not Omniscient Enough

    since they are not at school they could got to church. kids are always safe at church.

  • Helon Wheels

    I am not sure anyone was "hurt" by his words, except maybe him. His diatribe shows how utterly ignorant , mean and small of a man he is.

  • Tigerlily

    If the governor is going to attack political rivals (teachers or whomever), he should do it in a way that doesn't encourage those outside of the state to believe that there is an large number of incestuous child abusers lurking about within Kentucky.

    We were once the butt of many jokes. This doesn't help.

  • Celia Finley

    The gov. apparently does not understand that demonizing parents and caregivers is a strategy for political suicide.

  • Sky King

    It can all End with HIS GUARANTEE: promising NOT to run for RE-ELECTION and then KEEPING his Promise.
    A SIMPLE End.
    Honestly Folks, even if you were Against the Teaches...Blaming them for UNTOLD SEX ABUSE? Angry AND Hateful.

  • Bezukhov

    Can Governor Bevin account for his whereabouts when these kids were raped and poisoned?