McConnell campaign puts the spotlight on Judd
February 19th, 2013
08:41 AM ET
2 years ago

McConnell campaign puts the spotlight on Judd

(CNN) – With more than 20 months to go before the midterm congressional elections, incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell's team is already attacking Democrats for not yet fielding a candidate to challenge the Senate minority leader.

McConnell's campaign released Tuesday its first web video of the campaign, a parody that attempts to depict President Barack Obama as being frustrated with the potential crop of Democratic contenders in the state.

Among those targeted include actress Ashley Judd, a potential Senate hopeful who's expressed interest in the seat and who's been on McConnell's radar for months.

The video features footage of Judd representing the neighboring state Tennessee, a state where she's lived for years, at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She's also seen saying in the video that San Francisco is her "American city home."

The video continues a line of attack that blasts Judd for not being a true resident of Kentucky. While she partly grew up in the state and graduated from University of Kentucky, Judd has lived elsewhere as an adult, including California and Scotland. She was married to Scottish race car driver Dario Franchitti, but they announced they were getting a divorce earlier this year.

Her website, however, labels Judd an "at least 10th generation Eastern Kentuckian."

Judd actively campaigned for Obama during the 2008 and 2012 elections and has been known for advocating for poverty reduction, immigration rights, environmental issues, public health, and human rights issues. She also graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a master's degree in 2010.

While she has stayed quiet on questions about a potential bid, she directed her Twitter followers this month to sign up for her newly-created mailing list.

"You'll be the first to know, well, all sorts of things," she wrote.

But the web video released Tuesday suggests that Judd is not Obama's type of candidate.

"We all know President Obama and his liberal allies have made Senator McConnell their number one target," Jesse Benton, McConnell's campaign manager, said in a statement. "We thought we would have a little fun with the problems they've been had (sic) finding someone to carry President Obama's banner in Kentucky."

McConnell, now in his fifth term, isn't the only one to preemptively go after Judd. American Crossroads, the conservative super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, spent $10,000 on a web ad earlier this month, also hitting Judd for her declared love of Tennessee, where she owns property and where she spent some time as a child.

"This is just a fun way to kind of get under her skin a little bit and kind of show her what a campaign would really be like if she makes this decision," Jonathan Collegio, the communications director for American Crossroads, told CNN on Thursday.

The nearly three-minute web video also makes light of other Democratic elected officials in Kentucky, including Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth.

READ MORE: Almost two years out, it's rough in Kentucky

In the 2014 midterm elections, Democrats will again seek to regain the House majority they lost in 2010. Republicans currently hold a 232-200 majority in the lower chamber. Three seats are vacant. In the Senate, Democrats will be defending 21 of the 35 seats up for grabs in 2014.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Ashley Judd • Kentucky • Mitch McConnell • Senate
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Go ashley ,get rid of the gop obstructionest mummy !!!!!

    February 19, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    Mumbles is desperate although he will get elected. KY residents will vote for Mao before a Democrat

    February 19, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. markfromdover

    It just shows how nervous McConnell really is. If she's such a non-threat why even spend any money talking about her? McConnell is the real joke.

    February 19, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. v_mag

    When people talk about how rotten politicians are and how we need to vote them all out, they're really talking about Mitch "the Twitch" McConnell. He epitomizes the worst of the worthless trash we have in D.C. soaking up the best America has and laying it at the feet of the super-rich. Kentucky would do itself and the rest of the country a favor by trimming this dead branch from the Senate.

    February 19, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Pete

    McConnell waste your money now because in the months leading to midterms your donors will fall like flys because they'll see a more friendly,compassionate candidate in Judd and your days of being the ole white ,racist ,obstructionist from Kentucky will be history..Remember even after outspending your opponent 10-1 your last election you just barely won and this opponent in Ms Judd as you know will definitly have deep financial pockets from entertainers and your old constituents alike. So say goodbye all because as I said before your end is near as well as others that are in your class,the white,racist,obstructionist ones that have put themselves before their constituents in a treasonistic attempt to oust our present president,our first African American one and this is from a disgruntled white man that wishes that America would just grow up,racism isn't dead, its alive and well and republicans sure well know it!!

    February 19, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. Larry L

    Could the people of Kentucky really vote for a Senator who is only known for obstructing progress? McConnell is the only Senator who offered a proposal, it was accepted, then he filibustered his own proposal! Could he be more worthless?

    February 19, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. MrBeenThere

    It's funny to see a man so frightened that he has to attack a citizen who hasn't even announced there candidacy........ and a women to boot.......... hahahahahahahah.......
    Go McConnell Go....... right out the door.........

    February 19, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is mounting the largest campaign attack against Republicans, in history, in order to gain control of the House and Senate. this will be the most heavily contested mid terms in history.

    Obama wants total control, and he will do anything to get it.

    February 19, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. BE in TN

    you go ashley!! get rid of this scumbag!!!

    February 19, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. richiechie

    Maybe the Kentucky voters will wake up and stop voting for rich old white guys that remind them of their grandfathers bosses.

    February 19, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. mark

    Judd with all her problems, right.

    February 19, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Malory Archer

    Rick McDaniel

    Obama is mounting the largest campaign attack against Republicans, in history, in order to gain control of the House and Senate. this will be the most heavily contested mid terms in history.

    Obama wants total control, and he will do anything to get it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yet it's the loser rethugs who are trying to change the rules of the game by dividing states' electorial votes between the candidates – but only in states where President Obama won. THEIR actions speak louder than YOUR words.

    February 19, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    mark

    Judd with all her problems, right.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Care to elaborate?

    February 19, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Kman66

    Wow, such blind sheep you are, you'd even follow the diasaster Ashley Judd.

    February 19, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Janice

    Please, God, bless Ashley Judd, or anyone who can oppose Mitch McConnell and win! I am so sick of him and his whining and complaining!

    February 19, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. luffing

    The obstructionist turtle has got to go.

    February 19, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    Obama is mounting the largest campaign attack against Republicans, in history, in order to gain control of the House and Senate. this will be the most heavily contested mid terms in history.

    Obama wants total control, and he will do anything to get it.
    *************************
    This complaint coming from a Rightie shill who had no problem with the GOP throwing huge amounts of money around in an attempt to gain toal control of government less than a year ago? Please. I guess the losers always cry foul when they know they are on the ropes. Anything to save the man who was the inspiration for Beaker on " The Muppet Show", I guess, even when he has utterly failed as a leader. The GOP leaders, Beaker and the Weeper.

    February 19, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. the real truth

    Why do people in the poorest states (Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina) in the union vote for the party of obstruction. This warped thinking dates back to the years of oppression. It makes no sense, unless they are not wise enough to realize that the Republicans don't care about average people. You people in Kentucky need to think long and hard.

    February 19, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Obama wants total control, and he will do anything to get it."

    So, what has Ashley Judd done to Mitch McConnell that makes the high and mighty McConnell so very afraid of her?

    February 19, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Mr.Bobo

    The egos of these hollywood actors are mind boggling. Sure Ronald Reagan became president but he was active in politics his entire life and was governor of California. Ashley I recommend that you start out running for city council first and maybe get a little experience under your belt.

    February 19, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. jb1963

    I'd vote for her just to get this loser out.

    February 19, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Bill

    McConnell will be removed in 2014. End of story.

    February 19, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Robert

    Wow. All the Obama trolls out in force. Ashley Judd?? What a farce.

    February 19, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Malory Archer

    Mr.Bobo

    The egos of these hollywood actors are mind boggling. Sure Ronald Reagan became president but he was active in politics his entire life and was governor of California. Ashley I recommend that you start out running for city council first and maybe get a little experience under your belt.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Then your ilk would accuse her of being a "career politician".

    February 19, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. ritmocojo

    I think the "Turtle" of 'The Turtle and the Hare' fame has come as far as it's going to get, and with desperate times come desperate measures. You go Ashley girl! You go!

    February 19, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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