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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) faces political danger after Mother Jones leaked recordings of the senator and his staff attacking actress and activist Ashley Judd during an opposition research meeting.

The recordings, which Mother Jones’ David Corn reports are from February 2nd, reveal that McConnell and his staff planned to go straight for the jugular if Judd — who was still a prospective candidate for McConnell’s seat at the time — had jumped in the race.

“I assume most of you have played the, the game Whack-A-Mole?” McConnell asked to laughter from his staff. “This is the Whack-A-Mole period of the campaign…when anybody sticks their head up, do them out.”

Although much of the conversation centers on Judd’s policies, McConnell’s staff made it clear that they planned to viciously attack her character as well.

“She’s clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced. I mean it’s been documented,” an unnamed staffer says at one point. “Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she’s suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the ’90s.”

Later on, McConnell’s aides attack Judd for being critical of “traditional Christianity,” and ” anti-sort-of-traditional American family.”

“She described having children as selfish, and she thinks it’s unconscionable to breed,” a staffer notes, granting a clear view of how McConnell would have attacked a hypothetical Judd campaign.

While McConnell reacted to the tapes with outrage — he accused liberal activists Progress Kentucky of bugging his office, while his campaign manager Jesse Benton baselessly accused Mother Jones of using “Nixonian tactics” — there is a small silver lining for the Senate’s top Republican: The recordings revealed just how lucky he was that Judd chose to sit the race out.

While McConnell would have been a strong favorite to retain his seat in deep-red Kentucky, a slash-and-burn campaign to crush Judd could have had major consequences for national Republicans. As the GOP makes a concerted effort to soften its message to women voters, it’s not hard to see how attacking the highest-profile female candidate in the country for suffering depression and choosing not to have children would have backfired.

It’s a safe bet that, if McConnell faces a woman such as Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the 2014 election, McConnell and his staff will be much more careful about their attacks given the outrage generated by these recordings.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Attacking a political opponent, including claims of he/she been unfit or unqualified for the job, is an integral part of politics. Needless to say, personal attacks should not be part of campaigning, but if this became part of a litmus test to determine who deserves to be in office, Washington and all State and Local governments would be unmanned overnight. At a time when a little despot is threatening destruction, at a time when there is still so much to be done to overcome our economic and employment woes, this is too much ado about nothing.

    • sigrid28

      To women, it will not come to nothing that McConnell and his team planned to attack Ashley Judd on the very same grounds that millions of Americans would applaud President Lincoln, carrying on despite suffering from the symptoms of depression. The community that supports Americans with disabilities such as depression, and even those having children with autism (now diagnosed in 1 out of 90 or so births) and other serious disabilities, will not welcome McConnell’s plan of attack. Who could blame these parents if they see McConnell’s insensitivity as OF A PIECE with the the efforts by Republicans in Congress to repeal the ACA, legislation that will ensure mental health parity as it unfolds (already a boon to many families in Massachusetts), which includes provisions that already stop health insurers from dropping our disabled children and young adults from their rolls.

      This tape recording also reveals something these beleaguered families have probably long suspected, that the Republican party, in bed with the NRA, cares not a whit about improving mental health care as an approach to curtailing gun violence, while they are quite happy to complain loudly about the mental illnesses associated anecdotally with several of the young men who committed massacres using weapons of war. Republicans like McConnell are silent but we do not have to be about the fact that one of the children gunned down at Sandyhook Elementary was a child on the autism spectrum, according to his parents. His paraprofessional aide was killed trying to protect him, to no avail.

  • docb

    Opt research is defining in that many things a laid on the table and it defines the candidate on values.., morals, and ethics.. There are always salacious presentations..founded and unfounded put on the table!..The fact that mcconnell was in the room and agreed even , laughing and calling it whack -a -mole..speaks volumes.. He defined himself by NOT saying he would NOT go there..which proves him to be another vacuous republican do anything dirty old man!

  • Leaked recordings– you sheep aren’t curious about from where and by who ? Or whether or not laws were broken in the process ?

    • Mike W

      Laws and truth don t matter if the liberal has to violate laws and ignore the truth to take power , thats OK with them

  • old_blu

    It was an inside job. Sounds like Romney’s 47% statement. hahaha come apart some more.

    • Is It Me Or Is The FBI Big Government??? I Be So Glad When 2014 Comes And Somebody Get This Old Senile Lying Fart Out Of Office!!!

      • old_blu

        It’s not just you Fern it’s me too, I can’t wait to get a bunch of the jack asses out of office. Although I was wrong (second time in 30 years hahaha) on this one.
        Hello my friend.

        • Hi old_blu Good To See You My Friend!!! 🙂 <3 See We Got Ourselves Some New Trolls Here!! LOL

  • Mike W

    Hmmm, funny how you liberal elitest pukes dont have a problem with breaking laws when it comes to doing your thing. Lying dont bother you either so I doubt braking laws is a hinderence when it comes to pushing your lies and promoting your anti american world socialist BS ways. The illegality or your recording don’t bother you but an honest and truthful evaluation of putting one of your lunatic hopefuls in another government position to further ruin the US is disgusting.