It was 90 degrees in the shade at Fancy Farm, but Christina Trosper was still sporting her Russian-style “Say Nyet To Moscow Mitch” fur hat.
“My hat is an ode to Mitch McConnell and his apparent love for all things Russia, his hate of Kentucky,” Trosper said.
Trosper is a teacher from Knox County, a five hour drive from Fancy Farm. She called McConnell “un-American,” saying he’s ground Congress to a halt and encouraged division.
“As a lifelong Kentuckian, I think it’s time that we gave him his chance, he got in power, he got into his leadership position and he’s turned his back on the hardworking people in this state,” Trosper said.
Democrats have latched onto the “Moscow Mitch” line, referring to McConnell’s refusal to take up election security bills. Unlike McConnell’s other nicknames, this one has gotten under his skin.
And the state Democratic Party says it raised more than $200,000 in the first two days that it sold merchandise with the nickname on its website, including that fur hat.
McConnell has denounced the fervor over the nickname as “modern-day McCarthyism” and has tried to flip the insult back at his detractors.
During a brief press gaggle ahead of the Fancy Farm event, he criticized opponents for wearing soviet-stylized “Moscow Mitch” t-shirts.
“That ought to tell you something about where they want to take the country with the green new deal and Medicare-for-all,” McConnell said. “Their whole agenda would fundamentally change the country into something it’s never been. So I think them wearing shirts with communist flags on it makes a lot of sense.”
Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report warning that there is still a threat of election interference and urging Congress to address the situation.
When asked if he would support a different election security bill, McConnell said that enough has already been done to deter Russian meddling.
“We’ve sent $300 million down to the states, they’ve not yet spent it all, we had a successful election in 2018, our whole national security apparatus is pushing back against the Russians. They know they can’t mess with us successfully again in 2020,” McConnell said.
Nonetheless, Democrats have continued to taunt McConnell with the nickname, chanting it throughout McConnell’s 6-minute speech at the Fancy Farm picnic.
Democratic candidate for treasurer Michael Bowman dug at McConnell over the Russia issue.
“It was a little dangerous getting on stage today because I nearly tripped over the leash that the Russians put on Mitch McConnell,” Bowman said.
McConnell ignored the chants, but instead embraced another one of his monikers that his critics have tagged him with in the past.
“They want to turn America into a socialist country. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are never going to let that happen. That’s why I call myself the Grim Reaper, I’m killing their socialist agenda,” McConnell said.
Christina Trosper, the teacher from Knox County, said she thinks that Democrats have the better party to unite the state and country.
“I’m a social studies teacher and I know how government’s supposed to work and I know even though we disagree which exit to take, we’re all on the same highway and we’ve forgotten that. And I blame him a lot for that,” Trosper said.
McConnell is running for his 7th term in office next year.