Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is up with his first ad of the 2014 cycle, in which his wife pushes back on a recent, racially-charged attack by a left wing group and defends her husband’s patriotism.
Last month, a liberal group called Progress Kentucky sent a series of tweets attacking McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. The tweets suggested that the Taiwan-born Chao was more loyal to China than the United States.
“This woman has the ear of @McConnellPress — she’s his #wife. May explain why your job moved to #China!” the group tweeted.
Chao pushes back on those comments, which the McConnell campaign denounced as “race-baiting.”
“You’ve seen the ads attacking my husband. As Mitch McConnell’s wife, I’ve learned to expect them,” she says. “Now far-left special interests are also attacking my ethnicity, even attacking Mitch’s patriotism, because he’s married to me. That’s how low some people will stoop.”
“Mitch loves Kentucky. We love Kentucky. The meanest personal attacks can never change that,” she says.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was harshly critical of the ad, saying that McConnell was being a hypocrite for playing “the victim,” given his reputation as a cutthroat campaigner.
“Mitch McConnell is known as the meanest, most negative campaigner in all of Washington, and Kentuckians and all Americans are sick and tired of his nasty, partisan brand of politics,” said spokesman Matt Canter. “No wonder he is the least popular incumbent senator in the entire country. We strongly disagree with the tweet that Mitch McConnell is referencing in his new ad, but let’s be honest: Mitch McConnell is not a victim. In fact, he is the reason for Washington’s dysfunction.”