McConnell says Grimes would cast first vote in Senate for Harry Reid; Grimes says she would do what's best for Ky.

08/22/2014 08:01 AM

One of the main points in U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign has been to tie Alison Lundergan Grimes to national Democratic figures from Reid to President Barack Obama, and lately his pitch is that a vote for Grimes is a default vote for Reid to continue to wield the gavel in the U.S. Senate.

McConnell again used the line on Wednesday at the Kentucky Farm Bureau “Measure the Candidates” forum in Louisville — calling himself the “change agent” in the race for his sixth term in office.

“Her first vote would make Harry Reid the majority leader of the U.S. Senate one more time. He is opposed to everything you stand for. He will not allow any votes to push back the war on coal. He will not allow any votes to push back the waters of U.S. regulation,” McConnell said.

McConnell argues that if he is re-elected then the Democrats will lose majority in the U.S. Senate but if Grimes wins, Democrats control the chamber.

The argument is disputed by national pundits including NBC’s Chuck Todd, who told civic leaders and business executives at the Kentucky Chamber Business Summit in July Republicans can take the U.S. Senate — but they don’t necessarily need McConnell to win in Kentucky to get there.

While the argument may be flawed, the question remains for Grimes if she would support Reid as the Democratic leader in the chamber.

When directly asked by Pure Politics if she would back Reid as majority leader of the upper chamber — if elected — Grimes punted saying she would do what is best for Kentucky.

“We have 75 more days and I do believe we will pull across the finish line successfully and Kentucky will have its first female senator and I will make every decision there in light of what’s best for the people of Kentucky,” Grimes said.

Reid held a Washington D.C. fundraiser for Grimes in June which turned into its own controversy over talking coal with the leader.


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