Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

1:11 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Poll Shows Mitch McConnell Struggling for Support

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

A new poll shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is struggling to retain support among voters.

The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows that twice as many voters are against McConnell as there are supporting him. It also finds that only one-third of Republicans support him in the 2014 election.

In recent weeks, Kentucky's senior senator has been besieged by liberal and Tea Party groups alike.

From The C-J:

According to the poll of 609 registered voters, 34 percent said they plan to vote against McConnell while just 17 percent say they will vote to give him another six years. The poll found that 44 percent said they will have to wait and see who is running against him and 6 percent said they are not sure.

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2:44 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

McConnell Campaign Taunts Liberals Over Filibuster Reform

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

In a message to supporters, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is bragging after modest filibuster reforms were enacted in the U.S. Senate.

Several progressive groups along with liberal Democrats in the Senate had been pushing Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., to go with the "nuclear option" to overhaul the chamber's rules.

But Reid went for much weaker reforms, and the deal negotiated with McConnell speeds up the parliamentary process for new business, motion and debates.

The McConnell camp says that the GOP leader "beat the liberals" who were pushing for more drastic changes.

From Team Mitch:

A group of the Senate's most liberal Senators, fueled by left-wing groups like Move On, have been pushing a dangerous scheme to change the rules of the United States Senate and fundamentally alter the checks and balances of our system.

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5:29 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Libertarian Super PAC Pounces on Mitch McConnell Following Kentucky Tea Party Warning

Liberty For All Super PAC
Credit Liberty For All

Piggybacking on a warning from more than a dozen Kentucky Tea Party groups, the head of a libertarian-leaning Super PAC says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is everything that is wrong with politics.

Preston Bates is executive director of Liberty For All, which is a Texas-based group founded by 22-year-old millionaire John Ramsey.

In a series of statements, Bates says McConnell is unpopular enough to unite independents, libertarians and Democrats alike.

From Liberty for All:

On a Primary Challenge

“Mitch McConnell can’t afford a conversation with primary voters on his record, so his only prayer is an Ashley Judd candidacy so he can side-step the primary.”

Is Mitch Tea Party?

“Mitch McConnell is a poster-boy for everything that’s wrong with politics: a career politician who’s made tens of millions while Kentucky families suffer. He’s raised the debt ceiling, called TARP a success, and is fresh of raising taxes on Kentucky’s families. Simply put, he’s anything but a tea partier.”

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10:35 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Kentucky Tea Party Leaders Issue Warning to Mitch McConnell, Plan to Draft Primary Challenger

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A coalition of more than a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky are issuing a stern warning to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell against co-opting the grassroots movement — and they plan to draft a challenger for the 2014 Senate primary.

The United Kentucky Tea Party is made up of several independent organizations from across the state. In a press release sent late Monday evening, the group says that McConnell and state Republicans are being "intellectually dishonest" by calling anyone with the GOP leader's campaign personnel a tea party leader.

"What I can tell you is we have a battle plan that we’re executing and to date that plan is working better than we expected. And our goal is to have a primary challenger for Sen. McConnell,” said John Kemper, a spokesman for United Kentucky Tea Party. 

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6:45 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

McConnell Campaign Warns Obama, Democrats Coming for Kentuckians Guns

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

In a fundraiser e-mail, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is warning Kentuckians that President Obama and Senate Democrats are "coming for your guns" and undermining the Second Amendment.

"You and I are literally surrounded. The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights. On your freedom," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in the January 20 e-mail.

Last week, the president unveiled a legislative package that he urged Congress to pass in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre. It includes a ban on assault weapons and armor piercing bullets, universal background checks and a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.

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8:30 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Ashley Judd: Kentucky Needs a Fighter

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Actress Ashley Judd says the "people of Kentucky need a fighter" when asked about a potential bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2014.

The Hollywood celebrity and activist has been flirting with a run for public office for months, and made the comments at the the Kentucky Society of Washington's Bluegrass Ball this weekend.

In a brief interview, Judd said there is no time frame for her decision but that she is taking a serious look at running.

From Politico:

"I am incredibly honored and frankly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support — that the people of Kentucky are interested in having me represent them is the greatest honor of my life so far, and I am certainly taking a close look at it,” Judd told POLITICO before The Kentucky Society of Washington’s Bluegrass Ball in Washington.

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3:01 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Pro-Gun Kentucky Shows Little Appetite for President Obama's Gun Reforms

President Barack Obama
Credit White House

President Barack Obama’s gun control speech is being praised by supporters as a bold step, but the White House acknowledges that sweeping reforms will require support from pro gun areas like Kentucky in order to pass Congress.

Surrounded by a group of elementary school students Wednesday, the president signed 23 executive actions to enforce current laws. He also urged Congress to pass a number of legislative measures such as a ban on military-style assault weapons and armor piercing bullets.

The package includes universal background checks for gun purchases and a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.

"I will put everything I've got into this — and so will (Vice President) Joe (Biden) — but I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it. And by the way, that doesn’t just mean from certain parts of the country," Mr. Obama said. "We’re going to need voices in those areas and those congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important."

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth was an early proponent of gun regulations in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, but he is the only Democrat in Kentucky’s entire federal delegation.

Yarmuth says he is proud of Mr. Obama's leadership, however, he acknowledges gun owners and Second Amendment advocates will have to play a bigger role in order for lawmakers to pass any reforms.

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10:27 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Joins Congressional Delegation to Afghanistan and Israel

Credit Sen. Mitch McConnell's Office

Joined by a delegation of lawmakers, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Monday that he and four other senators recently completed a trip to Afghanistan and Israel.

From McConnell's office:

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1:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Conservative Group Targets Senator Mitch McConnell in Online Ads

For America is attacking McConnell in a new online ad.

A conservative group is attacking Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over the fiscal cliff deal in a series of online advertisements in Kentucky that questions his loyalty to the GOP.

The ads were purchased by the Virginia-based group For America and began running Wednesday on the The Daily Caller, Drudge Report and Fox News websites, as well as on Facebook. It accuses McConnell of capitulating to President Obama and calls for conservatives to stand up to the party leader.

Brent Bozell is founder and chairman of For America. He says McConnell was the architect of a bad deal and that is playing "President Obama’s bag man."

"There comes a point where as a conservative you just say you’ve had it. This was a quintessential tax and spend piece of legislation," he says. "Conservatives have for decades labeled Democrats the party of tax and spend. How can you not label Republicans the same thing when they go along with it?"

McConnell fashioned the agreement with Vice President Joe Biden, which permanently extended the Bush-era tax rates for individuals making less than $400,000 and was praised by many conservative thinkers.

However, the deal delayed government spending cuts for another two months.

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1:12 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Ashley Judd Still Considering Senate Bid, Says Mother Naomi Judd

Ashley Judd
Credit Former Sen. Richard Lugar's office.

In an interview with Larry King, country music singer Naomi Judd says her activist-actress daughter Ashley is still weighing whether to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2014.

The elder Judd told King that her daughter "doesn't know" if she's going to jump in the race, but that Ashley is "very interested in changing the world." As King pointed out, however, the choice will have to come sooner than later given that Judd doesn't live in Kentucky.


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