Kentucky event features BBQ, heckling and Grimes and McConnell
August 2nd, 2014
11:13 PM ET
2 months ago

Kentucky event features BBQ, heckling and Grimes and McConnell

(CNN) – Kentucky's two U.S. Senate candidates traded pithy barbs Saturday at a dual campaign stop in the midst of a race with national implications.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his opponent, Democrat Alison Grimes, appeared in western Kentucky's Fancy Farm Picnic, where they each criticized the experience level of the other candidate.

"Thirty-five is my age - that's also Senator McConnell's approval rating," Grimes quipped.

Polling from earlier this year indicated McConnell's approval rating was in the low 30s.

And Grimes gave McConnell grief for serving in Washington for so long, saying he'd forgotten about the people of Kentucky.

"After three decades in Washington, you've just given up. You don't care about us any more. Thanks to you, D.C. stands for 'Doesn't Care," Grimes said.

But McConnell had something to say about how important his experience is while highlighting Grimes' inexperience, drawing parallels between Grimes, who's two years in as Kentucky's secretary of state, and the relative inexperience of President Barack Obama before taking office.

"He was only two years into his first big job when he started campaigning for the next one. Sound familiar?" McConnell said.

This is the 134th year of the event held in Fancy Farm. It's a unique event, bringing together candidates from both parties to the same venue. Grimes and McConnell were heckled throughout their speeches, but it seemed McConnell had more, or at least louder, supporters in house.

Thousands of people attended this year's event in western Kentucky, where in addition to the candidates, visitors also were able to enjoy a barbecue.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) made an appearance in support of McConnell at the event, reciting some poetry and picking on some of Grimes' West Coast fundraising.

"There once was a woman from Kentucky, who thought in politics she'd be lucky. So she flew to LA for a Hollywood bash. She came home in a flash, with buckets of cash," Paul said.

While the race has clear national implications and is one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, Grimes said she wants the focus to be on Kentuckians.

"This race is between me, you and the people of Kentucky," Grimes said to McConnell, seated just a short distance away.

Polls show the race is nearly tied just three months away from the election.

If Grimes wins, she'd be just the second to knock off a Senate leader in the past 60 years. Former Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota lost his re-election bid in 2004.

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Working Woman – Thanks for the laugh.

    August 3, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. J Anthony

    i understand the coal industry's concern about their jobs, but it seems they are in denial about the repercussions of this outdated form of energy extraction. If we refuse to catch up with the possibilitiies of science, technology and engineering,, we will pay a much heavier price over time, than the one paid during a willing transition.

    August 3, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Bigwilliestyles

    So if McConnell stated that he would make President Obama a "one term President, but Obama was re-elected, doesn't that make mitch's policy 'failed'?

    August 3, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Travis Decker

    Obama has ruined any shot of a Democrat winning in KY. We hate McConnell but we hate the Democrats and their treasonous attack on the Constitution more.

    August 3, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. MaryM

    Time for Mitch to go. Come on Kentuckians , Vote Mitch out of office !

    August 3, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Bessy

    Working Woman

    Oh please. There are 23 comments on this blog and all except you see that the smart thing to do is to dump Mitch. Stop trying to stir something up with all this Repub and Fox News BS.

    August 3, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Gunderson

    Wow,
    The "Chicken Excrement" is getting deeper and deeper. When the Emperor no longer has any clothes you scream to the high Heavens. But hey, the Country is in great shape, no? Nero Fiddles and Rome burns and you defend it. Hope you have a good retirement plan. Well never mind. Who needs a retirement plan with the Liberal's in the driver's seat.

    August 3, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I just contributed $32,000.000 to the grimes campaign, this should work out nicely.....

    August 3, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Gunny Sack – Republican economics and republican chicken hawks have almost destroyed the country. Fiscal insanity may be the republican way, but sooner or later wars,and tax cuts for the wealthy have to be put on the books.

    August 3, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Get rid of Mitch McConnell. God bless!!

    August 3, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. DevilAnse

    I don't hear Mr McConnell listing many accomplishments for his 30 years in office. Mostly he talks about Mr Obama, who does have a record of positive accomplishments, but is not running for the Senate .
    Does Mr McConnell clearly understand that he's running against Ms. Grimes ? ..........bless his little heart .

    August 3, 2014 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. belinda

    Rand Paul, probably plagiarized the liimerick, too. A certified plagiarist, he wants to bring back his version of the Good Old Days, by bringing back no service to African Americans and Hispanics and other minorities, because business's deserve that right. I heard him state this and now he claims he never said this. I have news for Paul, you will never get the minority vote needed to win the Presidential election

    August 3, 2014 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  13. MollyBee

    Mitch McConnell is one of the greatest obstructionists/liars/opportunists in the country. What has he ever done for the good of the people except stir up hatred and division? Nothing. His testimony to the SCOTUS on behalf of the GOP in favor of Citizens United (corporations are people) and McCrutcheon (big money influence over elections) should seal his fate with....well......just about every middle classer in the country. The GOP tactics are just plain ugly and Mitch has been their biggest spokesperson. Big money influence, voter suppression, no regulatory control over the financials/corporations that screwed all of us, out-sourcing of American manufacturing jobs (with concomitant tax breaks), demagoguery to keep the radical fringe fired up, proliferation of conspiracy theories against a sitting President, resisting/obstructing immigration reform, taking health care away from millions of Americans who can finally afford it, fueling the flames of racism...yeah, this is how we want our country managed, Sen. People, get him out of there!

    August 4, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
1 2