From Roll Call:
A meeting of Senate Republicans on Wednesday grew tense as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his members he could have gotten a better deal on nominations than the one negotiated by rank-and-file Republicans.
McConnell’s tone, according to multiple sources, implied that he had been kept in the dark about the talks between some in his own ranks and Democrats. However, those same Republicans say they kept McConnell updated throughout their negotiating process.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., got so frustrated with McConnell’s presentation of events, that he called… (a word abbreviated b.s.) loud enough for the room to hear, nearly a half-dozen sources said. The heated exchange underscored the “buyer’s remorse” among some Republicans, especially leaders, one senior Republican said on background.
Corker’s office did not comment for this story.
By Roger Alford, Associated Press
FRANKFORT, Ky. — U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is gearing up for a tough re-election fight next year in Kentucky.
He wants to prevent one, too.
McConnell is trying to head off a GOP primary challenge by cozying up to the tea party. He’s also trying to scare off potential Democratic contenders — actress Ashley Judd is one — by providing a glimpse of his no-holds-barred political tactics.
The strategy seems to be working, so far. No serious Republican opponent has emerged. Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate yet, though Judd, a Kentucky native who lives in Tennessee, is considering a run. She would have to re-establish a residence in Kentucky before she could challenge McConnell.
The lack of an opponent hasn’t kept McConnell from sounding an alarm over his potential vulnerability. It’s a tactic rooted in reality and intended to help raise money.
“We know that President Obama’s allies in Washington are doing everything they can to find a candidate to run against me in a primary or a general election,” McConnell said in a statement to The Associated Press. “They’ve made no secrets about their willingness to back anybody right, left, or center to get me out of their way.”
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Actress Ashley Judd isn’t ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.
Democrats have been promoting Judd, a former Kentuckian now living in Tennessee, as a challenger to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.
In a statement Friday, Judd, a Democratic political activist, sidestepped the question of whether she would re-establish a residence in Kentucky and run against McConnell.
“I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward,” she said.
Judd, a regular at University of Kentucky basketball games and the Kentucky Derby, has starred in such movies as “Kiss the Girls,” ”Double Jeopardy,” ”Where the Heart Is,” and “High Crimes.” She is married to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and is an annual spectator at the race.
So far, no Democrats have stepped forward to challenge McConnell, a political powerhouse in his home state who already has $6.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign.
Even so, the Louisville Republican is certain to be targeted again by Democrats, just as he was in 2008 when he won re-election to a fifth term and gained the distinction of being Kentucky’s longest serving senator. McConnell spent some $20 million on his last election, beating Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Kentucky businessman, by 6 percentage points.