Republican U.S. Senate Minority Leader McConnell prepares for his debate with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Grimes at the Kentucky Education Television network headquarters in Lexington
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell prepares for his debate with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes (not pictured) at the Kentucky Education Television network headquarters in Lexington, Ky. on Oct. 13, 2014.  Pool/Reuters

McConnell Slams Democratic Opponent for Staying Mum on Obama Vote

Oct 13, 2014

In a new ad released Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasts his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes for declining to answer questions on whether or not she voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 or 2012.

The Kentucky Courier-Journal editorial board posed the question four times to Grimes during an interview Oct. 9, but she repeatedly dodged it. The Democratic candidate replied that she was a "Clinton Democrat," that "this election isn't about the President," and that she respects "the sanctity of the ballot box—and I know the members of this editorial board do as well."

Grimes' maneuvering has been heavily criticized. The ad uses footage of NBC Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, speaking on MSNBC Friday. "I think she disqualified herself," he said. "Can Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?"

With President Obama's approval rating hovering around 30% in Kentucky according to NBC News/Marist and CNN polls published last month, Grimes has sought to distance herself from Obama both in ads and on the trail.

Grimes, meanwhile, touted an endorsement from former Kentucky Democratic Senator Wendell Ford in a new ad. Ford worked to portray Grimes as someone who would reach across the aisle when in office:

"When I was in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans worked together," he says. "Mitch McConnell doesn't understand the problems, he's just been against everything. He's Mr. No... Alison can work with both sides."

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