New McConnell ad stars wife Elaine Chao and seeks to grab attention of women voters

08/05/2014 12:12 PM

As the Kentucky U.S. Senate race remains in a dead heat, courting the vote of Kentucky women is becoming a main objective of both campaigns. And Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has enlisted the help of his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

In a new ad released by the McConnell campaign Tuesday, Chao looks into the camera and criticizes the approach Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes takes with women voters.

“Have you ever noticed how some liberals feel entitled to speak on behalf of all women?” Chao asks before saying that Grimes gender-based attacks are “desperate and false.”

The ad also cites votes taken by McConnell on women’s issues, including his role as a co-sponsor of an early version of the original Violence Against Women Act—“a point he has made before”: . The point in the McConnell ad comes after the Grimes campaign released an ad hitting McConnell on the issue last week.

The ad also states that McConnell has cast other votes during his time in Congress before Chao comes back on camera to address Grimes personally.

“Alison, supporting the Obama agenda isn’t pro-woman…it’s anti-Kentucky,” Chao says at the end of the ad.

In response to the ad, the Grimes campaign called the thirty second spot dishonest and an attempt to distract from McConnell’s failed record on behalf of women and families in the state.

“Simply saying, ‘I’m married to a woman’ doesn’t speak loud enough. Your actions and record over 30 years in Washington indicate where and how you will stand up for women,” Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said in a statement.

The latest Bluegrass Poll released last week shows that Grimes support among women voters dropped 11 percentage points since the last poll was done in February. Grimes now leads McConnell by only one point among women voters, according to the poll conducted by Kentucky news outlets.

The ad featuring Chao also comes right after controversy sparked over tweets by a Democratic operative concerning the ethnicity of McConnell’s wife of 21 years. The series of tweets is the second time Chao’s ethnicity as been pointed to by Democrats on the social media site since the race began. The Grimes campaign denounced the remarks in a statement Monday.

“Attacking someone’s ethnicity is uncalled for and unacceptable,” Grimes spokeswoman Norton said in a statement to WFPL . “This race is between Mitch McConnell and Alison. As Sen. McConnell said last year, Alison wholeheartedly agrees that family should be out of bounds.”


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