The Chatter: Bill Clinton criticizes McConnell in Iowa, both campaigns raising big money in D.C.

09/15/2014 02:54 PM

Former President and avid supporter of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Bill Clinton, used his remarks at an Iowa political event to hit Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on his stance on limiting campaign cash.

The former president slammed McConnell in a speech talking about McConnell’s stance on campaign finance reform on Sunday when speaking at a political event in Iowa hosted by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

In his remarks, Clinton referenced the recording of McConnell speaking at a conservative summit hosted by the Koch Brothers back in June where McConnell talks strategy and policy and at one point said that the passage of a landmark piece of legislation dealing with campaign finance reform was the “worst day of his political life.”

Clinton, who has made multiple visits across Kentucky with Grimes, criticized the remarks by McConnell while campaigning in Iowa where he said McConnell’s statement “saddened” him and noted many events that have taken place in the country over McConnell’s nearly 30 year tenure in the Senate.

“If the worst thing that ever happened to me was an attempt to limit black bag campaign contributions? What about 9/11, what about the financial meltdown, what about the farm crisis in the 70s and what about the middle of the country’s manufacturing base hollowing out in the 80s, and what about in his native Kentucky 70 percent of the coal miners losing their jobs before the EPA ever said a word,” Clinton said in his speech. “How could you possibly say that the worst thing that ever happened to you was not being able to black bag unlimited amounts of money in politics when all of these things happened to Americans?”

This is not the first time McConnell has been criticized for the remarks. Democrats across the country, including Grimes, have pointed to the comment to say McConnell is only looking out for his donors, not the people he represents.

Outside groups such as Every Voice Action have also slammed McConnell for the remarks in their ad campaign which they launched in the state to bring attention to the issue of campaign finance reform.

Report shows significant funds from D.C. for both campaigns
While McConnell is being criticized for his stances on campaign contributions and has been hit for the amount of money he has raised outside the state, a new report shows that both McConnell and Grimes are bringing in big bucks from the nation’s capital.

OpenSecrets Blog broke down the figures from both campaign to see where the majority of their out-of-state money was coming from. And while the money in politics blog found that McConnell was raising more from outside of the state, Grimes was not far behind even with less funds raised.

And of the places they are getting the campaign cash, obvious locations like New York for McConnell and Los Angeles for Grimes topped the lists but Washington, D.C. was not far behind for either candidate.

From OpenSecrets.org:

McConnell has raised $1.3 million from donors in the Washington area, second only to the $1.4 million he’s raised from New York City donors. Only one Kentucky metro area figured in his top five — Louisville contributors had given $1.2 million to his re-election bid by midway through 2014.

Grimes has also raised significant cash in Washington — even before any summer fundraising or the events she attended this week; she brought in $476,000 from D.C.-area donors, making the nation’s capital her fourth largest metro area in terms of contributions. Her top metro area is Los Angeles ($1 million) followed by New York City ($643,000) and Louisville ($590,000).

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Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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