Mitch McConnell

Politics
4:56 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

McConnell Campaign to Launch "Women for Team Mitch" This Week

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is making its first pitch to women voters in an attempt to close the perceived gender gap.

This Friday the campaign will launch "Women for Team Mitch" where McConnell will be joined by his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, along with women from across Kentucky.

It is a sign that the GOP leader understands the need to reach out to women, which is a key voting bloc that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is courting.

National Democrats have pounded McConnell's record on women's issues, which includes voting against the re-authorization the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year.

But aides close to McConnell have said the senator isn't going to ignore the female vote, and is eager to defend his views.

From The New York Times:

Given recent struggles that Republican Senate contenders have had with women’s issues, Mr. McConnell’s advisers say they intend to confront head-on the criticism Democrats have already begun leveling against him on issues they view as particularly important to female voters.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Tea Partiers, Conservative Groups Target Mitch McConnell at Launch of Anti-Obamacare Tour

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at a tea party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

A pair of conservative groups are kicking off their campaign to de-fund President Obama’s health care law in Kentucky to pressure Republican Senator Leader Mitch McConnell and other lawmakers.

For America and Tea Party Patriots visited the state on Tuesday to launch the "Exempt America Tour," which plans to visit the political doorsteps of five key GOP leaders in Congress including stops in Virginia, Mississippi, Texas and South Carolina.

The tour plans to draws attention to efforts to take out funding for Obamacare in the budget, which is being led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., and supported by a handful of other Republican senators.

It's a strategy that's divided the GOP, with leaders in Washington voicing caution while conservative activists—such as former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin—arguing "forced enrollment" is unconstitutional.

"People in Kentucky and Senator McConnell know that we don't think Americans should have to pay for Obamacare. That’s why we’re in Kentucky," says For America campaign manager Scott Hogenson. "And we're starting in Kentucy because as the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, we think he’s the first person we want to talk to."

Critics of this strategy say the Tea Party and others are playing into the Obama administration and Senate Democrat's hands. That pushing for a standoff to shut down the federal government will not work.

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Politics
11:52 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Matt Bevin Failed to Mention State He's Running for in Campaign Disclosure, Says FEC

A small mistake or an attack ad in the making?

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin failed to include he is seeking office in Kentucky in campaign disclosure forms, according to a letter from the The Federal Election Commission sent Monday.

Bevin is running in the GOP primary election next year to unseat incumbent Mitch McConnell.

FEC Letter to Bevin

Given the increasingly bitter tone of the campaign and opposition research against Bevin thus far, it's likely this tiny piece of paperwork could find its way in a McConnell attack ad.

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Politics
10:01 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Listen: Conservative Group Says Mitch McConnell 'Refuses to Lead Fight' on Defunding Obamacare

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Another conservative group is launching a radio ad criticizing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, this time calling on the GOP leader to oppose all funding for Obamacare even in the face of a government shutdown.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is spending close to $50,000 for this statewide ad that will begin airing Tuesday.

In a 60-second spot, the group says Obamacare is unaffordable and unfair but that McConnell hasn't forcefully backed efforts to de-fund the law.

Besides the president's health care law the ad also takes a jab at a controversy involving McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton who was recorded saying he was "holding my nose" working for the senator.

"The Obamacare bill stinks, and holding your nose won't make it any better," the narrator says.

Listen:

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Politics
10:20 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Conservative PAC's Radio Ad Echoes Matt Bevin Attacks on Mitch McConnell

A conservative group is launching its first radio ad in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race criticizing Republican Senator Mitch McConnell for his voting record.

Led by former Republican Congressman Jim Ryun, the Madison Project endorsed McConnell’s GOP primary opponent Matt Bevin last month, and is running what they say will be the first of many statewide ads against the incumbent.

It's a relatively small $30,000 ad buy, but the 60-second spot slams McConnell’s votes on immigration reform, Wall Street bailouts and the debt ceiling.

Listen:

Daniel Horowitz is the policy director of The Madison Project. He says the Kentucky Senate race is about McConnell’s leadership and a larger debate about the GOP at-large.

"We want to have a long-form discussion both about McConnell’s record in Kentucky and also really a discussion over the future of the Republican Party. Is this going to be the party of Reagan, Cruz and DeMint or is this the party of Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell? And it’s about time we had this fight over the future of the party," he says.

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Politics
11:06 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Matt Bevin Calls on Republican Leaders Not to Retreat on Defunding Obamacare

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit mail.com

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin is criticizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for not taking the lead on de-funding President Obama's health care law.

The pressure comes a day after Boehner told House Republicans he does not support threats to shut down the federal government over Obamacare.

In an earlier letter signed by 80 GOP House members, including Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., conservative lawmakers urged House leadership to reject any spending bill that funds the new health care law.

Bevin has been appealing to Kentucky conservatives in his bid against McConnell in next year's primary election that this is another example of McConnell not doing enough to stand up against the president.

"As the leader of the Republican Party, Sen. McConnell should be leading the charge to de-fund Obamacare not retreating with his tail between his legs," says Bevin. "Kentucky voters have a right to know: Will Mitch McConnell join Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in fighting for taxpayers or will he join Speaker Boehner in caving to President Obama?"

But just this week, Paul stood with McConnell in Kentucky to say shutting down the federal government over Obamacare was a "dumb idea."

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Politics
11:38 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Matt Bevin Asks: Why is Mitch McConnell so Unpopular?

Sen. Mitch McConnell and businessman Matt Bevin
Credit File photos

In an increasingly bitter primary race, Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin is releasing a new web video blasting incumbent Mitch McConnell for being one of most unpopular lawmakers in Washington.

The online ad says McConnell has a history of voting for "liberal policies" and comes as Bevin faces intense scrutiny for supposedly exaggerating educational ties to MIT on his LinkedIn resume.

McConnell and Bevin's campaigns have been increasing their attacks against one another this week in online exchanges, one of which involved real estate mogul Donald Trump at one point.

Bevin's 50-second ad pounds McConnell for votes on abortion, immigration reform and the bank bailouts among other issues.

Watch:

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Politics
2:12 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Donald Trump to Matt Bevin: 'You're Fired!'

Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin
Credit File photos

The campaigns representing Kentucky Republicans Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin have been trading barbs over Twitter in the wake of a McConnell attack ad questioning Bevin's ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"I wonder what McConnell has on his LinkedIn page. Oh, wait, he's never had a job in the private sector so why would he need one," Bevin's Twitter page jabbed in response.

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Politics
10:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Tea Party Ads Pressure Mitch McConnell, GOP Senators to Defund Obamacare

Credit foramerica.org

A pair of Tea Party groups are increasing their pressure on Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Republican caucus to de-fund President Obama's health care at all costs.

Recently, McConnell questioned that strategy and said a government shutdown would not halt the Affordable Care Act's implementation.

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports Tea Party Patriots and For America are targeting McConnell's caucus in a series of online advertisements in the hopes of gaining traction.

For America has already put out an ad essentially calling McConnell a "chicken" for not being more supportive.

Watch:

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Politics
4:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Mitch McConnell Receives Endorsement from Key Louisville Tea Partier

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Credit File photo

Tea Party activist and Louisville Councilwoman Marilyn Parker is endorsing Republican Senator Mitch McConnell days after complimenting his primary opponent.

The nod gives McConnell a key tea party figure, but it comes as the senator faces growing criticism from his political right on Obamacare as a prominent conservative PAC is pledging to run ads against him.

When asked Wednesday whom she was supporting in the GOP contest between McConnell and businessman Matt Bevin, Parker told WFPL she was undecided but praised the latter for bringing up good questions by entering the race.

In a surprising reversal Friday morning, however, Parker says she wanted to make sure voters knew she is backing McConnell for re-election.

"I have always supported Senator McConnell for U.S. Senate," Parker said in a statement. "Today I am issuing a formal endorsement to clear up any doubt about my support for Senator McConnell's conservative record, his leadership role in Washington representing Kentucky and our national interests, and his institutional knowledge for getting the right policies implemented."

Bevin is being supported by the United Kentucky Tea Party, which represents over a dozen groups across the state.

But the endorsement from Parker—along with the former vice president of the Louisville Tea Party—is a crafty chess move that gives Team Mitch a bit of breathing room as more rank-and-file activists openly criticize his campaign.

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