Pryor Tries to Clean Up Ebola Answer

His Republican challenger, Tom Cotton, pounced on the pained exchange.

Senator Mark Pryor stumbled on Tuesday when MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked him about Ebola. At a rally at the University of Central Arkansas, Hunt asked the Arkansas Democrat whether he thought President Barack Obama's administration was doing enough to combat the crisis. Pryor's response: “Um, I would say that it's hard to know because I haven’t heard the latest briefing on that to know all — I mean, I read the paper and all, but my impression is that we have people over there both from CDC and other medical-type people and even some engineers to try to build medical facilities. That’s what they need over there, they need the medical infrastructure."

"And have we been aggressive enough helping there?" Hunt asked.

"Uh, again, I have to see the latest numbers," Pryor said. And so on.

His Republican challenger, Tom Cotton, pounced on the pained exchange, with a spokesman saying in a statement that "serious times demand serious leaders."

Cue the cleanup. The senator's campaign released a statement saying: "I’ve given better answers to tougher questions, but the fact is we’ve got to do everything possible to prevent an outbreak here at home. That starts with containing the disease’s spread in Western Africa, and our military and airport screening efforts are the right thing to do."

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