Tenn. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate blasts 'worst candidate' charge
Oct 25, 2012 06:18 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The Tennessee Democrat running for U.S. Senate fired back Thursday at this week's Washington Post story that said he may be "2012's worst candidate."
Mark Clayton, the surprise August primary winner who has been linked to a Virginia anti-gay group, told Nashville's News 2 the newspaper is "not a credible news source."
He went on to question the Post's investigation of President Richard Nixon in the 1970s which led to his eventual resignation.
"We would call on the Washington Post to return their Pulitzers until we find out what really happened," responded Clayton while sipping ice tea at a restaurant near his rural Nashville area home.
Clayton said he refused interviews with the Washington Post and claims the reporter from the newspaper recently "jumped out from behind a bush asking him if he would beat Bob Corker."
When asked the same question about beating the incumbent Republican senator, Clayton grinned saying, "of course, of course."
Clayton won Tennessee's August Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate against a field of unknowns, but was disavowed by the state party for numerous reasons, including ties to Public Advocate for the United States.
He dismissed the group being branded anti-gay and a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks civil rights issues.
"I am a volunteer vice-president, the group is about love," said the candidate. "That was an August issue, I want to talk about now."
So where is his campaign now after nearly three months as the Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senate?
"This is a campaign for people to be able to be free, this is a campaign about protecting people's jobs," said Clayton.
He showed Nashville's News 2 his one "campaign sign" that he packs behind the seats of his pickup.
"A sign is not necessarily going to acquire votes," he said pulling it out of the vehicle. "It's not really a big part of our campaign strategy."
"I think Tennesseans are more about substance, rather than have a whole lot of clutter like they do up in Washington," the 36-year-old candidate said.
Clayton also disputed the Post story saying he had raised only a few hundred dollars for his campaign.
"I have a few thousand dollars," he said, however there is not any documentation yet about raising that amount.
Clayton is set to host a town hall meeting on Thursday night in the White's Creek area.