"A month ago, I was invited to Corbin to discuss my candidacy at an event where folks had gathered to address various states' rights issues," Bevin said. "I am genuinely sorry that my attendance at an event which, other than my comments, appears to have primarily involved a discussion of cockfighting, has created concern on the part of many Kentucky voters. I understand that concern.
"I am not and have never been, a supporter of cockfighting or any other forms of animal cruelty."
In initially explaining his presence at the event, Bevin said that he thought he was attending a rally in support of states rights.
"I am, however, a strong supporter of states' rights," Bevin said in the Friday statement. "Regardless of any personal views on this issue, animal rights are not an enumerated power granted to the federal government under the Constitution. Such decisions should be left to each state to decide.
"I made the decision to speak at the gathering in Corbin because I support our 10th Amendment rights, not because I support or condone every topic discussed at the event."