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.

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"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. m k

    I think Ashley made the right choice. Now was not the right time.

    April 1, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  2. Steve

    You don't need to write a whole article to determine why Judd did not run, it's rather obvious. She is a Hollywood insider. Coming from that depraved culture she was more skeletons in her closet than Vincent Price. She doesn't really have a college degree, having been awarded a bachelor's in 2007 from Kentucky and a Master's from Harvard last year. However, when you look further, you can see these are illegitimate. She would have made a fool of herself....

    April 1, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  3. Jim

    Cause she got slappted by the Corrupt Kentucky Politicians

    April 1, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. Edie Vasquez

    God we can only pray Mitch Mcconell don't win he is living in the past blocking min wage , America needs to move forward not backward we need money to build those super fast trains, The GOP is stuck inthe 40's , We need young men with dreams for America and all it's people not just the Elite

    April 1, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. Thomas A Martinet

    Judd should have run!!!

    April 1, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. blake

    Good judgment maybe. The last thing the Senate needs is a far left Hollywood type.

    April 1, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  7. jakinak

    Duh.... Because she know that she would lose

    April 1, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  8. John

    Has anyone pointed out the fact that Ashley Judd, though originally from Kentucky, does not live in Kentucky? Last time I checked, that is a requirement to run for Senate from the Commonwealth.

    April 1, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. t3chn0ph0b3

    The cult of celebrity can be used for good. It's obvious that someone in the GOP wants to stop that from happening.

    Follow the money.

    April 1, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  10. Kevin H

    Ashley Judd is a fascinating and intelligent woman. That being said she's a bit thin-skinned – and I think she's not a very political animal. She's not a woman to be "massaged" to be "handled" to be "managed". Carter wasn't either. I think Hodding Carter spent a lot of his time trying but failing to manage the former President. Candidates who have no real background in politics – and by that I don't mean fundraising and working behind the scenes but actual politicking – tend to see the job as easy. We can deride politicians but there is no more difficult game than the political one. She isn't a lawyer, she's not a diplomat nor a strategist – she's an actress. She actually be great at business – through her production work. But that's not the same as the difficult world of governmental accounting and finance.

    April 1, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. K from AZ

    Sabotage? Oh, sorta the same as the liberal fascists did on Romney, I see!

    April 1, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. Larry L

    We get the leadership we deserve.

    April 1, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  13. Cate C

    Oh yeah! Nancy Pelosi must be SOOOOOOO influential with Kentucky's voters! lololol
    Maybe, Ms Judd came to the conclusion that it's better to be a popular media wanna-be candidate. As opposed to being a real fell well short real candidate.
    But, that wouldn't as exciting a "news" article. Oh well, maybe you can get Ted Nugent to run for Governor of Texas. lololol

    April 1, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. BeachBumin808

    In other words...they wanted a politician that plays by their rules and didn't want someone with popularity that could get voted in and actually try to make a difference like Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

    April 1, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  15. ricke1949

    What has she ever done politically? What is her political philosophy? Does she understand debt? What is the breath of her historical perspective? What has she legislated before?

    April 1, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  16. Name Danielle Simm

    Oh that's a shame! She should have went for it. To get McConnell out of there. He is how old now? Just saying...

    April 1, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. sonnie3

    Another holly wood type is not what we need in government. We need common sense persons who will serve a limited about of time (12Years Max) and then get out of Washington and let someone else go to bat for team America. This term limitation would solve so many of our government over spending problems.

    April 1, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  18. spudnik56

    Simple...she has an IQ over 100...

    April 1, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  19. GonzoG

    Politics is the dirtiest game. If you're not 100% perfect (and who is?) your political enemies will find out, blow your "sins" out of all proportion, and crucify you. The only defense is to be wealthy enough to hire people to dig up all the 'bodies' in your past and re-bury them where they can never be found. Being a wealthy enough Democrat to do this is already a mark against you–Republicans have even richer friends to do it for them.

    April 1, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  20. JohnRJohnson

    Who can Judd or anybody else from deciding not to run for office. Politics has become so filthy and destructive in this country. Good people aren't running and the lousy ones actually enjoy the stench of politics.

    April 1, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  21. more2bits

    She realized that Congress is no place for the moral majority.

    April 2, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  22. Mike

    How about the fact she would have been a lousy candidate and a lousy Senator?

    April 2, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. Brian

    What POSSIBLE value would this untalented actress who's never held the office of even a city council member bring to the Senate? Zip, that's what.

    April 2, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  24. Justanswerthequestions

    Persistence pays off. So, Ms. Judd: even if, at first, you didn't succeed, I hope that you try, try again.

    April 2, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  25. freedom

    She's dished out plenty of sabotage in her day as well. Guess she couldn't take some of her own medicine.

    April 2, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
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