The research that the GOP has done on Ashley Judd, prospective candidate for Mitch McConnell’s Senate seat, seems to be bearing fruit. Some Kentucky Democrats are nervous about Judd entering the race due to her bizarre past statements.
Fourteen Kentucky Democratic state legislators were noted in a survey by Kentucky Public Radio that showed they were worried about Judd’s potential run. Democratic state Rep. Walter Blevins, said, “I mean, she’s got some issues that would hurt her up in Eastern Kentucky.” House Speaker Greg Stumbo agreed: “Given her position on mining, it would probably be a race that Democrats like myself would have trouble supporting her.”
Judd’s statements against the coal industry and wildly liberal stances on a variety of social issues are the basis for fears from Democrats that her candidacy could harm other Democrats nationally, akin to Todd Akin’s effect on the GOP in 2012. As Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, said, “Ms. Judd has a bit of a habit of making bizarre comments and observations that will put Democratic officials and candidates across the country in uncomfortable positions. As for Kentucky, well let’s just say that Ms. Judd’s comments are outlandish for Hollywood, never mind Covington.”
Judd said in 2006, “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.” As recently as last Friday, Judd left herself open to criticism as a wealthy dilettante by boasting at George Washington University, “We winter in Scotland. We’re smart like that,” as well as speaking of her dog’s hunger strike.
It didn’t help Judd’s cause when McConnell’s office ran an ad that showed Judd claiming Tennessee, where Judd has lived for the last 20 years, was home. In 2006, Judd admitted her liability from past statements, saying, “such an unguarded chunk of my truth is very likely to completely disqualify me.”
And a final nail in the coffin, as one McConnell adviser, put it, was this: “The real highlights for Kentucky purposes are her conceptions of the relationships between men and women and family life, and her views on coal and the Obama agenda at large. This is a state where the president only carried four of 120 counties. They really dislike this president, who she spent countless hours stumping for on television.”