McConnell on a challenge from Ashley Judd: “We’ll worry about the election in 2014″

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t seem too worried Sunday morning about rumors that actress Ashley Judd might run against him in his upcoming Senate race.

The Senate Minority Leader told “Meet the Press” host David Gregory that the 2014 general election was still a long way off. “In the meantime, I’ve got my hands full trying to deal with all the issues that we’ve been discussing here this morning,” McConnell said. “We’ll worry about the election in 2014.”

A poll released by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) last month found that in a hypothetical match-up, McConnell would lead Judd by only four points, with 47 percent of the vote to Judd’s 43 percent.

Judd first indicated that she was interested in running for Congress at an event a Democratic National Convention event in September. Judd was at the convention as a delegate – but not to Kentucky. Rather, the A Time to Kill and Double Jeopardy star was serving as a delegate to her home state of Tennessee. Given her ties to Tennessee, it was assumed that she was considering a run in the Volunteer state. Since then, rumors have spread that she intends to run in Tennesee’s neighboring state of Kentucky instead. Sources familiar with the discussions have reportedly said Judd is considering McConnell in 2014 or Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in 2016.

Although McConnell is the most unpopular Senator in the nation, according to PPP, Kentucky is still very much a Republican state, giving McConnell the advantage against Judd should she choose to run, despite her high profile. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the state by 23 points in the last presidential election. In 2010, Rand Paul won his election with 56 percent of the vote, beating his Democratic opponent by 12 points. A poll from September gave McConnell at 51 percent approval compared with Paul’s 53 percent approval rating.

In an attempt to capitalize off of Paul’s success in the state, four months ago McConnell hired longtime Ron Paul aide Jesse Benton to run his reelection campaign in 2014. Benton also served as campaign manager on Rand Paul’s Senate race in 2010. McConnell was once though to be a prime Tea Party target in 2014, but with Benton and the Paul network on his side, it’s unlikely that the Tea Party would be able to mount a credible campaign against the five-term Senator before next year’s primary, especially now that Tea Party kingmaker Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has retired from politics.

McConnell seemed genuinely unconcerned with a challenge from inside or outside of his party Sunday, however. Responding to a request from Gregory for his “reaction to some of the criticism from the right to this fiscal cliff deal,” McConnell reminded the NBC host of what ought to be the focus on Republicans serving in Congress over the next two years: the country’s unrestrained spending problem.

“Well, the election will take care of itself in 2014. The question is, what are we gonna do now?” the GOP leader said.

Comments

Comments

  1. Guy Manningham says:

    Might as well invite every B list celebrity to run our government. The only one to do it right was Reagan. Everyone else was a copycat. I’m waiting for the Pauly Shore / Bobcat Goldthwait 2016 Presidential ticket.

    1. D says:

      Reagan would have been run out as a leftist elitist liberal by today’s yahoos that run the old white man’s party.

  2. Megan says:

    The most unpopular senator? Not here. We like him just fine down here. The ONLY reason that Ashley Judd would try to run in Kentucky over Tennessee is because she is one of those OBNOXIOUS UK basketball fans. That MIGHT help her a little bit. Most Tennesseans find her stupid and irrelevant. Most Kentuckians, while they may like her as an actress and sports fan, would not put here in office on those credentials.

  3. Wayne Miller says:

    I would disagree that McConnell is the most unpopular Senator in the nation. That spot is clearly far and away held by Dirty Harry Reid.

  4. JayB says:

    Anyone organizing to defeat McConnel, let me know so i can help and support that campaign!

    An elected representative who cares more about beating another office holder rather than doing good for America doesn’t deserve the privilage of being in office.

Polititainment

Obama: LeBron 'did the right thing'

President Obama supports LeBron James' decision to wear an "I can't breathe" t-shirt during warmup before the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets last week.

Al Sharpton, Hollywood's Sony Liaison

In a private meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City Thursday, Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal told Sharpton that he could have a voice in how the movie studio makes its films.

Clooney: Release 'The Interview' online

George Clooney may have the most awesomely toothy response to the Sony Pictures cyberattack that forced the movie studio to pull the film "The Interview" from its December 25 release.

Jon Stewart might ruin your childhood

Jon Stewart brought his nightmare-inducing recurring character “Gitmo” on the show to talk about the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba.

Colbert's embargo on the Vatican

Colbert had to chide his audience Wednesday night for getting excited about making “Cuba more libre.”

White House

Obama: we can’t have censorship subject to ‘some dictator someplace’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

U.S. confirms North Korea was behind Sony attack and promises ‘proportional’ response

Officials no longer merely suspect North Korea to be behind the cyberattack on Sony Picture—they’ve confirmed it.

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]
Obama administration extends Pell grants to juvenile offenders
The Obama administration has set out new guidelines that allow for students sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities to be eligible for federal Pell grants. The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice sent out a joint release Monday that clarified an earlier law. Congress in 1994 prohibited inmates at federal and state prisons from receiving Pell Grants […]
White House denies report that it wants to delay release of CIA torture report

The White House is insisting it wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report on CIA torture practices, despite a report that Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to scuttle it.

Congress

Rubio says Rand Paul is clueless on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio made his criticism of a fellow Republican plain Thursday night.

Gowdy's office responds to Speaker chatter

Rep. Trey Gowdy has become a sensation on the Right, with his no-nonsense style and committee hearing takedowns of Obama officials garnering him praise and attention.

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!

Senate Confirms Pro-Gun Control Surgeon General
NATIONAL JOURNAL — The Senate narrowly confirmed a new surgeon general whose nomination was delayed for months in a fight over his comments alleging that guns are a public health issue. The confirmation represents a victory for gun-control advocates, even as recent polling has shown Americans moving in the other direction toward gun-rights protections. The […]