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. Truth Partner 12

    Or maybe it was just due to a complete lack of qualification on her part. She wan't even a community organizer or anything.

    April 2, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  2. Paul

    Only one large problem: Ms. Judd resides in the state of Tennessee, not Kentucky! That would be considered a strike in most states.

    April 2, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  3. SOS

    Yeah yeah. If you cannot take the heat get away from the fire. It's all fair in politics. One thing for sure no Hollywood type is going to lead this country ever again I any shape or form.

    April 2, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  4. Party of Know

    Oh brother, who cares? Talk about sabotage. If Romney were president now, I guarantee he would not be shooting hoops, and sending his kids to the Bahamas and Sun Valley on our dime.

    April 2, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  5. Ca Ed

    One faction was weighing the options, using Ashley for their gain.
    One faction was weighing the options, using Ashley for THEIR gain.

    sound like good old American Rough and Tumble politics to me.
    If Ashley's advisers think this was sabotage, maybe it is time to get a new adviser.

    April 2, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  6. BayleeBondi

    Why did Ashley Judd decide not to run? It wasn't "sabotage", silly. It was all the negative feedback from Americans who are sick and tired of reading about celebrities who think they would be worth of holding public office and being trusted with the people's best interests. She has absolutely no experience. nil. zip. zilcho. nada.

    April 2, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  7. Dave

    The bigger question is who cares? She's a washed up actress that is ultra liberal.

    April 2, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  8. The Thinker1958

    I read some time ago that is almost impossible to run against the "usual suspects" or candidates. This "Democracy" in the US is pathetic. Only people inside certain rings can run and everybody else is shown the exit. So much for let the best candidate win. It makes me sick...

    April 2, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Time to ditch Mitch,

    April 2, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  10. Steve

    How about....she had no business running for Senate. I'm tired of people thinking because they are rich and/or famous that they deserve to run for office. What a joke

    April 2, 2013 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  11. BUGS

    Thanks for staying in Hollywood Ashley.

    April 2, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  12. jsk2084

    Essentially, the major theme of the U.S. Government to keep the people divided on every issue, would have been at risk had she run. Got it.

    April 2, 2013 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  13. realist

    She would have made the perfect democrat. Spineless and unable to stand up to 'the wrong people' on both sides of the isle. We have to stop worrying about party and focus on a morally sound America!

    April 2, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  14. VicMorrow

    Then perhaps the fact that she has zero political experience, not even a term as dogcatcher, might have been a factor. Or perhaps it was that her Hollywood liberal image wouldn't sell very well in Bible belt Kentucky, especially those nude photos. That she supports the Democrat War on Coal is definitely a negative for a would be Kentucky politician too.

    April 2, 2013 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  15. Cat

    She would never make it.

    April 2, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Because she's just a dumb second-rate actress? Oh no, wait, she should run for the White House instead.

    April 2, 2013 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  17. Bill

    Isn't that what politics is all about? If you can't fight through the local backstabbing you should not complain in an op ed.

    April 2, 2013 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  18. Rick1948

    There are so many good people out there who would run for public office and be good at it, but won't do it because of the way the other side and the media attack everyone running for office.

    April 2, 2013 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  19. NameJeffrey Moorhead

    I would of loved Ms. Judd running against the old establishment bringing new intelligent ideas and youth into the political areana. Think about it Ashley you would be not only smart but beautiful as well. Is Washington ready forMs. Judd?

    April 2, 2013 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  20. Name lynn

    Just dont like ashley judd why the people dont know its ok. Next time judd.

    April 2, 2013 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  21. Karen

    If nothing else, she got the Republicans to waste a bit of their money on ads against her.

    April 2, 2013 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  22. dx2718

    Gee, I would have thought the reason Judd didn't run is because she's an actress, not a politician. Though I suppose that didn't stop Ronald Reagan, Arnold Swarzenegger, or Roseanne Barr.

    April 2, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  23. joesmith

    years ago, no one will want to remember, but a famous professional golfer from Pa. was considering a run, that too lasted just a couple of days..too bad the long arm of decent foils so many able people..

    April 2, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  24. Mike White

    haha, yeah, it was "establishment sabotage" that knackered her bid for the Senate,
    her qualifications were sterling otherwise, lol

    April 2, 2013 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  25. Tony in Maine

    The top advisor should have kept his mouth shut. Whining is part of the Republican playbook, not for liberal Democrats. I don't know enough about Kentucky politics except that it has produced two of the worst Senators ever, McConnell and Paul. Anyone, absolutely anyone, would be an upgrade.

    April 2, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
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