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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mitch McConnell has been called a lot of names in his time as Senate Minority Leader — “RINO,” “bully,” “Machiavellian genius,” and “turtle,” to name a few — and on Tuesday, his re-election campaign added a new entry to the list: Hero.

That’s the central claim of McConnell’s new campaign ad, which celebrates the Republican incumbent’s efforts to save jobs in Kentucky:

The ad is a clear signal that McConnell is pivoting away from his primary battle against Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, and toward the general election. Bevin, who launched his Tea Party-backed campaign to great fanfare in July, has failed to compete with McConnell’s prodigious fundraising or to consolidate enough right-wing support to put much of a dent in the minority leader’s lead. Polls suggest that McConnell is on pace for a landslide victory in the May 20 Republican primary.

But McConnell will face a much tougher challenge from his Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. For the past two weeks, Grimes’ campaign has hammered McConnell over a newspaper report quoting the senator saying that stimulating local economic development “is not my job.”

“Unlike Mitch McConnell, I listen to Kentuckians. It is the job of a U.S. senator to put hardworking Kentucky families back to work and to grow our middle class,” Grimes told The Huffington Post after McConnell’s remarks went public. “He shocked not just myself but all of Kentucky when he declared that economic development is not his job.”

McConnell has claimed that his “message got lost in translation,” and that “encouraging positive economic development and job growth is at the center of what I do every day.” His new ad appears to be a concerted effort to reinforce that explanation.

The back-and-forth over McConnell’s jobs comment is just one of many skirmishes in what has already become one of the most negative campaigns in the country. Polls show that Grimes and McConnell will enter the general election in a virtual tie in the race that could determine which party wins control of the U.S. Senate.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • ps0rjl

    We all know what Mitch McConnell’s job is. He even said so himself. His job was to make sure President Obama was a one term President.

    • stcroixcarp

      He failed!

      • Allan Richardson

        Then he’ll make sure Obama is a two term President. Oh, wait…

  • 5612jean

    Hopefully Kentuckians have had enough of Mitch McConnell looking out for his own selfish interests and not of the people who voted for him. That’s the problem with polititians. They rarely do the job they are hired for, and that is why we need to have term limits.

    • jointerjohn

      Term limits could make the problem you describe even worse. If you implement term limits, lets say three terms; then your representative spends the first term learning the ropes and gaining clout through building relationships. Then in the second term he/she represents you. Then comes the third and final term when he/she is either positioning for the next other office to seek or endearing him/herself to corporations for a cushy job after the term is up. The people just received a 33% representation and now start all over again with a freshman rep! That’s not the way you get a good job done. You get a good job done by firing the bad people and keeping the good ones. Under term limits one has absolutely no motivation to do a good job and please the constituents beyond the end of term two. Find me just one successful company that fires all of its employees after a particular number of years and starts over regardless of their performance. That’s right, they don’t exist.

      • 5612jean

        I agree with part of what you say. But lately there have been so few good ones, perhaps it’s time to try something new. If there are term limits on the president why not for congress and the senate as well. It seems to me nothing is getting done as it stands right now. Except our elected polititians continue to be well compensated for not doing their job.

        • ThomasBonsell

          There is no evidence that term limits on the presidency has given us presidents more capable than previous presidents or that the nation has benefited.

          In fact, in many cases, it seems to have done the opposite. Our presidents since WWII, when the term-limits mania struck, do not seem to have the abilities of some past presidents.

          Term limits were devised by the Republican Party because it couldn’t beat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had inherited the worst economic disaster in US history and did a masterful job overcoming the GOP-created calamity. It had nothing to do with getting better presidents, it was a cynical resort to stop Republicans from losing the presidency to someone who did well cleaning up a GOP mess.

          The only good that would come from term limits for Congress would do is get rid of many Seantors-for-life from the South; but their replacements might be worse.

  • Bill

    After everything we’ve seen from the GOP in the last 5 years how can anyone vote for anyone with an R by their name? It just amazes me how anyone can vote for more of what the GOP has offered “NOTHING”.

    • Allan Richardson

      How do you identify the pirates in Washington? They have an AARRGGHH after their names!

      Politics is like driving a car: D for forward, R for reverse.

      • Independent1

        Great analogy. Virtually everything the GOP has proposed to do with future legislation and creating smaller government would result in setting America back at least 80 years and in many cases much further. It’s mind boggling that there are actually so many voters who will vote people into office who have absolutely no concept of what moving America forward means.

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: mr Obstructionist with his record filibusters! Where are your record jobs legislation? Hum.