April 1st, 2013
09:36 PM ET
10 years ago

Why didn't Ashley Judd run for Senate? Sabotage, adviser says

(CNN) - It would have been one of the most interesting races of the 2014 midterm cycle: Actress Ashley Judd challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky for the seat he has held for nearly three decades.

But Judd decided not to launch a campaign for the Democratic nomination, and her top adviser explained why on Monday: sabotage.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

"Really the establishment on both sides turned against Judd," Jonathan Miller said on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront, clearing the way for another Democratic candidate.

"Some of them wanted another candidate, (Kentucky) Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, some for good reasons … they thought she'd be a stronger candidate, but others sought to either profit from her, working on her campaigns, or would love to have a friend in the U.S. Senate," Miller claimed.

Also working against Judd were "people who weren't friends of Secretary Grimes, who wanted to push her into the Senate race so she wouldn't be running for governor or lieutenant governor back home because she might be a rival of one of their preferred candidates," he continued.

Miller wrote an op-ed for The Daily Beast Monday that also claimed that Democrats circulated lies about statements Judd had made or former President Bill Clinton's involvement in the race.

Although Judd cited her family, Miller suggested that if not for the sabotage, Judd could have been a viable candidate.

"Now, I don’t pretend that Ashley Judd was a perfect candidate, or that there weren’t a significant number of Democratic insiders who opposed her candidacy," he wrote in op-ed. "But in her early calls, she was winning over many skeptics, including the incumbent governor and the House speaker, the latter being the most prominent politician from Appalachia, the region purportedly most hostile to the actress because of her public opposition toward a controversial coal-mining technique."

Members of Judd's own party "duped" reporters into believing falsehoods about his candidate, he said.

Filed under: Ashley Judd • Kentucky
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. David

    5% of the people say that government isnt functioning correctly, we dont need another liberal to worsen it..

    April 1, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. RunForTheHills

    Yeah, okay, Ashley Judd, who has never done a real day's work in her life, and who is wealthy beyond belief and a card-carrying member of the 1%, wants to become a Liberal senator so she can buy votes with other peoples' money.

    No, thanks.

    April 1, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. David Crowder MD

    She's as utterly unqualified for the office as the other nominees the Democrats have come with in recent years; I see no reason she should not join the tragic farce that is the Democratic caucus.Obviously experience and qualification have no bearing on electability.

    April 1, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. Don K

    I can see the Dems and the Repubs trying out do her in before she gets out of the starting blocks. I also think her recently-failed marriage would have worked against her in Kentucky (it shouldn't but I'm sure it would have come up). I hope she chooses to run again.

    April 1, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    Politics is a rough contact sport. Ms Judd will learn from this and move on to a future run for public office.

    April 1, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Marty

    Guess she finally realized her only qualifications in life are wearing tight sweaters and smiling like a moron in front of a camera.

    April 1, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    I think she did the right thing. We need strong, credible candidates with no reservations and it sounds like Ms. Judd might not have been able to handle the scrutiny coming her way.

    April 1, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. Barbramania

    Why would anyone want to serve with that group of misfits?

    April 1, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Of course he fails to mention that Judd is: (1) has neither the background or experience to serve in the Senate; (2) her views are completely out of line with her fellow Kentuckians; (3) she has spent her career denigrating people like the voters of Kentucky; and, (4) she's insane. Other than that she is perfectly qualified!

    April 1, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  10. cutedog2

    I guess "sabotage" is an easier pill to swallow than "not an electable candidate".

    April 1, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  11. gene

    Too bad. She would have done a good job...instead we will have more politics as usual, graft and corruption, payoffs and the public gets the bill. Be nice for a change to have a REAL person running.

    April 1, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. AzMiller

    Another total non-story. Please write a hundred stories about other actors, rock stars, or athletes with no real credentials telling us why they decided not to help run our country. When is CNN going to focus on substance? P.S. Always liked her in movies.

    April 1, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. dack maddy

    Ummm.....because she had no chance of winning?

    April 1, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. 66Biker

    Just goes to show you, some Democrats can be just as mean and dirty as some Republicans are. That's why I typically refer to them as "Demoncrats" and "Republicons", and believe the absolute best that could happen to this country would be if they were all voted out of office. The two party system is the root of everything that is wrong with this country right now.

    April 1, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  15. ben

    She would been the biggest joke in politics after Obama

    April 1, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. salgreen

    Ashley should stick to movies and partying in hollywood-she knows nothing about making laws impacting millions of people

    April 1, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. Richard Allen

    I know people are probably thinking "Why should Judd have run? She's an actress, not a politician." Maybe we need fewer career politicians in office.

    April 1, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. Jamie

    She should run as a third-party candidate to see where her name recognition gets her. It'd be nice to eschew the false dichotomy of our two-party system for once, anyway.

    April 1, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. gdaym8

    Why does ANYONE get to hold a seat in the Senate for three decades?

    April 1, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. Faye

    She should go for it. She would be great !!!

    April 1, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. penguin

    Democrats in Kentucky would be Republicans in Michigan. Both parties in the bluegrass state are controlled by coal interests. Those who do vote for Democrats do so primarily because it isn't the Party Lincoln was a member of

    April 1, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. kygman

    Th biggest reason Ashley Judd sadly won't be running against McConnell is she lives in Tennessee now. Yes she could move back to Kentucky but that would be all Mitch's goons would need to start a campaign against her. She spoke at the Democratic convention for Tennessee. Wish the Dems could find someone to run against him. I'd vote for the dog catcher over Mitch!

    April 1, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  23. Teamski

    No, Judd didn't run because of sabotage. She didn't run because she wouldn't have won. She is an actress and that is all she is good at. Just because she has strong opinions doesn't make her a political prodigy.

    April 1, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. Tim

    Now the people of Kentucky can live with the same useless senator they have had for 30 years, Mitch McConnell. Thank you to all of the dumb self-centered Democrats and the dumber unintelligent biased and greedy Republicans.

    April 1, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. sad day at the movies

    Like Ashley, but do we really need more Hollywood in politics ?

    April 1, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5