Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes are being scrutinized by each others national political parties in a pair of stinging messages this week.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put out dueling press releases on Friday, going after Grimes and McConnell respectively.
Grimes is being chastised by the GOP for comments made at the state Democratic Party’s annual Wendell Ford Dinner. During her speech, Grimes alluded to need Democrat’s support in the “coming months” and said voters are tired of McConnell’s obstruction and misleading politics.
The NRSC said the dinner was a “liberal love fest” that shows Grimes backs President Obama’s agenda.
“Alison Lundergan Grimes sounded like a Massachusetts liberal as she advocated for higher taxes on Kentuckians, more federal spending, and policies that will hurt middle class families and workers,” NRSC spokeswoman Brook Hougesen said. “The true inner Grimes was on full display last night - her views mirrored those of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama and she showed no tolerance for those who disagree with her out of touch perspective. With such liberal views, it’s no wonder Lundergan Grimes remains the most reluctant candidate in the country.”
Grimes has avoided saying if she is running or not to the frustration of some Democratic leaders, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from launching preemptive strikes against a potential candidacy.
A pro-McConnell super PAC launched a newspaper ad against the secretary of state this, which like the NRSC release tries to link Grimes to the president. But the Democrats are also pouncing on McConnell a year ahead of the race, specifically over comments made by prominent conservatives that could further alienate women voters.
Last week, Fox News contributor and RedState.com editor Erickson Erickson suggested women being the chief breadwinners was unnatural and Republican Sen. Saxby Chambless of Georgia attributed sexual assaults in the military to hormone levels.
All of the top candidates who have been rumored to run against McConnell in 2014 have been women, including actress Ashley Judd (who declined to run) and former Miss America Heather French Henry.
The DSCC is arguing these comments represent a continued gender gap in the GOP, and the group is demanding McConnell condemn the comments.
“Republican leader’s extreme, anti-women comments are despicable and offensive to women in Kentucky and across the country. Mitch McConnell must immediately condemn Saxby Chambliss and Erick Erickson’s comments,” DSCC spokeswoman Regan Page said. “When Republican leaders say working women were hurting children and marriages, and now are claiming hormones are causing the sexual assault crisis in the military, it’s obvious the Republican party didn’t learn anything from their failures with women in 2012. The bottom line is Kentucky women deserve to know if Mitch McConnell works to advance Chambliss and Erickson’s anti-woman agenda in the Senate.”
Neither Grimes’s advisers or the McConnell campaign have responded to WFPL’s request for comment.