Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Politics
1:11 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Planned Parenthood TV Ad Targets Mitch McConnell Over Birth Control

Planned Parenthood released a television attack ad against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday over his support of a lawsuit against a birth-control policy in President Obama's health care law.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Rand Paul Reticent About Potential Tea Party Challenger to Mitch McConnell

Rand Paul and Matthew Bevin
Credit Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons and foxnews.com

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul isn’t sure if Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin would pose a problem for Mitch McConnell in a primary election.

The wealthy investor acknowledged an interest in taking on McConnell and has been in discussion with Tea Party groups. A Bevin spokeswoman said several individuals have voiced "frustration with their current representation" in Washington.

Speaking in downtown Louisville on Wednesday, Paul says he has been following news reports about the race but hasn't had a chance to speak with Bevin directly.

"I haven’t had any real discussions with him or others about it other than to say I’ve heard the same rumors," says Paul. "I’ve met him before and I’m pretty sure he’s a supporter of mine."

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Politics
10:40 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Man Behind Team Mitch

Credit TeamMitch.com

For Tea Party strategist Jesse Benton, politics and family are one in the same.

The grandson of former Congressman Ron Paul and nephew of Senator Rand Paul, Benton was hired to run the re-election of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell last fall.

Three years ago, Benton worked on his uncle's successful Senate bid that included a primary victory over a McConnell-backed GOP candidate.

It was a shrewd move on Team Mitch's part to blunt vocal criticism from the Tea Party.

Like his boss, Benton acknowledges the campaign still has Tea Party critics, however, he doesn't expect a credible primary challenger will arise.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Mitch McConnell Leads Ashley Judd 49-40 in New Poll

Mitch McConnell and Ashley Judd

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leads actress Ashley Judd by nine percentage points, according to new poll released Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by RunSwitch & Harper Polling, which was co-founded by Republican strategist Scott Jennings of Kentucky.

It has a 3.3 percent margin of error and surveyed 850 likely voters.

Besides a near 10-point lead for McConnell, the firm shows the GOP leader with 60 percent support among Republican primary voters versus "someone else."

Those figures differ from previous polls showing McConnell struggling amongst his base.

"My takeaways from the survey are that Senator McConnell is in solid-shape among Republicans and general election voters, and that Ashley Judd, for someone who has never run for office, already has a tough hole out of which to climb regarding her own image," Jennings said in a online statement.

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Politics
10:45 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Karl Rove Promises More Ashley Judd Attack Ads

Republican strategist Karl Rove is promising more attack ads targeting actress Ashley Judd.

Judd is flirting with a bid against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is up for re-election in 2014.

In a brutal online ad, American Crossroad tagged the actress-activist as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal, and criticized her for living in Tennessee. Rove is the super PAC's founder, and he says there's plenty more to come.

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Politics
11:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Karl Rove's Super PAC Targets Ashley Judd in New Attack Ad

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

The Super PAC American Crossroads has released a stinging ad targeting actress-activist Ashley Judd, who is considering a bid against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The digital spot portrays Judd as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal and criticizes her for being a supporter of President Obama, living in Tennessee and progressive politics.

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The ad is called "Ashley's Story" and cost the group $10,000.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Councilwoman Marilyn Parker to Tea Party: Don't Play 'Russian Roulette' With Mitch McConnell's Seat

Credit Parker campaign

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18, is urging fellow Tea Party activists to think twice before taking on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

McConnell opened his re-election headquarters in Louisville over the weekend, and promised a vigorous campaign. In recent weeks, more than a dozen Tea Party groups from around the state have warned they are lining up an opponent to take on the GOP leader.

Parker attend the opening and told WFPL many in the Tea Party are upset with McConnell's leadership, particularly when it comes to federal spending.

But the East End Republican says McConnell’s position is too important to risk, and that he has stood up against President Obama's agenda in Washington.

"I think we are at a very tenuous time in the country, and it’s important that’s not jeopardized at this time,” she says.

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Politics
10:59 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Mitch McConnell Suspects Challenge Will Come From The Right

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledges a potential Tea Party challenger.
Credit File photo

In an interview with Yahoo News, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admits he could face a tough primary challenge from the Tea Party in his home state of Kentucky.

Since its inception the Tea Party has been critical of McConnell's leadership despite his efforts to make peace with the movement. The strife has increased in recent weeks, with over a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky warning that a primary challenger is forthcoming.

McConnell says he doesn't have a sense of entitlement to the senate seat, and expects a vigorous campaign.

From Yahoo News:

McConnell acknowledged he may face a tough primary challenge in 2014, in part because he has been at odds with tea party members in his state and because those in Senate leadership roles in both parties are juicy targets for defeat.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

MoveOn, United Kentucky Tea Party Dismiss McConnell Campaign's Infiltration Charge

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Liberal and Tea Party groups are denying claims by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign that they are working together to defeat the GOP leader in 2014.

In a campaign fundraising e-mail Monday, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton told supporters that liberal organizers were "attempting to infiltrate conservative" groups across the state.

A previous message accused MoveOn.org of backing a "phony Tea Party" in an attempt to hurt McConnell in a primary race.

But MoveOn spokesman Nick Berning says they are not working with any Tea Party groups in Kentucky, and that they will seek to defeat McConnell in a general election.

"It's understandable that Mitch McConnell is frightened to face voters in 2014, and his focus on MoveOn members' electoral might is well founded, but his fantasy that we have teamed up with the Tea Party to elect someone even more out of touch than him is ridiculous," he says. "MoveOn's nearly 70,000 members in Kentucky are tired of McConnell carrying water for Wall Street and leading the 'Party of No' at the expense of poor and middle class families, and he should expect we will hold him accountable for it—in the general election."

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Politics
2:37 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Team Mitch Blasts Bluegrass Poll as 'Malarkey'

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Frankfort, Ky. last year
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The re-election campaign for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is dismissing a poll conducted by The Louisville Courier-Journal, which shows the GOP leader with just 17 percent support.

According to the survey, voters opposed to McConnell’s re-election outnumber supporters 2-to-1. It also found that only one-third of Republican voters support him in the 2014 election, adding further fuel to Tea Party criticism and outright defiance of McConnell's leadership in Kentucky.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton responded by saying no incumbent could fare well given the surveys line of questioning.

"The question itself minimizes the level of support for an incumbent by requiring a poll respondent to pledge their allegiance despite the prospect of an unnamed utopian candidate looming in the wings," said Benton.  "To make the bias even more pronounced than a generic 'someone else,' which is difficult enough, this question hardens that by asserting you must support him 'no matter who runs against him.'  So your neighbor, best friend, husband/wife, priest, pastor, reverend or rabbi wouldn’t get your vote if they were on the ballot.

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