McConnell says race will be about 'issues and influence' but deflects question about contrast

07/03/2013 11:50 AM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said he’s looking forward to a spirited general election against presumed Democratic frontrunner Alison Lundergan Grimes — a race McConnell says will be fought over “issues and influence.”

“There will be two issues in this race — one of them will be issues themselves,” he said before outlining areas in which he plans to tie Grimes, the secretary of state, to President Barack Obama.

“Number two is the issue of influence … On the influence side, Kentucky would lose dramatically by trading in one of the two party leaders in the history of our state — Alben Barkley and myself. I sit in the front row, my opponent, if she were elected, would sit in the back row.”

Joe Arnold of WHAS-11 asked McConnell how he will counter the Democrats efforts to use Grimes’ age, 34, and gender as a contrast with the five-term senator, who is 71.

“As Ronald Reagan famously said once, I won’t use my opponent’s age and inexperience as an issue in this campaign,” McConnell responded.

He didn’t answer the follow-up about McConnell’s vote against the Violence Against Women Act — an issue Grimes raised in her announcement statement Monday.

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