Alison Lundergan Grimes Embarking on 50-County Jobs Bus Tour

Senate Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will tout her jobs plan on a 50-county bus tour across Kentucky this week.

The road trip begins Friday in McCracken County and ends in Lexington on May 20, which is primary Election Day.

“As the divisive GOP primary rages on, Republicans, Democrats and independents alike are excited to get involved in our grassroots campaign,” said Grimes political director Elizabeth Cantrell in a news release.

“The overwhelming enthusiasm around Alison’s candidacy is unmatched as her action plan is the only in this race that will encourage businesses to grow, take full advantage of our natural resources, expand education opportunities, and most importantly, invest in what’s best about the Commonwealth: our people.”

Grimes has made an economic pitch to middle-class voters a centerpiece of the effort to unseat incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell this fall.

Among the policy ideas in the 24-page Grimes jobs plan released in January are raising the minimum wage, tax breaks for businesses providing childcare for employees, and job training for military veterans. During a February rally, former President Bill Clinton endorsed the plan as a key to defeating McConnell.

“This is a good plan,” Clinton said. “But the most important thing is, it’s the plan of a person who will go to Washington and say, ‘What are your ideas?’”

Critics and observers have picked the plan apart, however. Grimes has failed to explain how much it would cost given the calls for significant federal investment. And it’s unclear many jobs the plan would actually create.

But jobs has been a comfortable position for Grimes on the campaign trail to underscore the difference with McConnell. When McConnell told a local newspaper that it wasn’t his responsibility to create jobs, the Grimes team pummeled the GOP leader for being out of touch.

The McConnell campaign scoffed at the Grimes bus tour, and suggested she is ignoring her role as Kentucky’s secretary of state, which oversees the primary election.

“It is no surprise that Alison Lundergan Grimes is continuing to abdicate her responsibility as secretary of state to boost herself politically after she’s spent the last eight months everywhere but Kentucky pandering to Barack Obama donors,” said McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore. “Perhaps somewhere in Hollywood, Alison realized she’s in her own primary race against a man who hasn’t filed an FEC report, so anything below 99 percent of the vote is a massive failure.”

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