Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes on Friday morning kicked off a 10-day, 50-county campaign tour in Paducah, where she slammed Republican opponent Mitch McConnell and touted her jobs plan to a packed audience at a Lone Oak restaurant.
The Kentucky secretary of state appeared around 10 a.m. at Little Castle, where she greeted a crowd of about 50 people - many of them vocal supporters - before giving a 15-minute address.
Grimes called out McConnell for a statement made last month to the Beattyville Enterprise, a small newspaper in struggling Lee County. The paper quoted McConnell as saying it was not his job, but rather that of the state Commerce Cabinet, to bring jobs to the county. McConnell later said his statement was taken out of context.
"It's a No. 1 priority of a United States senator to look out for the people ... and help put them back to work," Grimes said.
Grimes then highlighted elements of her jobs plan, namely her intention to raise the minimum wage and invest in infrastructure. She criticized her opponent for voting against several pieces of legislation related to women's rights, as well as the renewal of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.
"(We need) someone whose vocabulary goes beyond the word 'no,'" Grimes said, eliciting applause from the crowd.
The candidate also emphasized her independence from President Barack Obama and other politicians her opponents have deemed "anti-coal."
"Those, including the president, who seek to undermine what is needed in this state, I will fiercely oppose," she told constituents.
Grimes said after her remarks that Kentucky has been hit hard by burdensome regulations, particularly when it comes to the coal industry, and called herself a "fierce advocate" for keeping jobs in the state and diversifying Kentucky's economy.
"Those that know me know that I stand on my own two feet," she said.
McConnell's campaign criticized Grimes' tour Thursday in an emailed statement.
"It is no surprise that Alison Lundergan Grimes is continuing to abdicate her responsibility as Secretary of State to boost herself politically after she's spent the last eight months everywhere but Kentucky pandering to Barack Obama donors," McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said.
Grimes will face McConnell or Republican challenger Matt Bevin if she defeats her lower-profile opponents at the May 20 primary and advances to the November general election. If elected, she would become Kentucky's first female U.S. senator.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.
posted on: Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:19 AM
Title: McConnell and Jobs
Senate Minority Leader "Addison Mitchell McConnell" was no where to be found when recent decisions were made by government officials initiating the closure of our nation's sole remaining U.S. government owned uranium enrichment facility, resulting in the loss of 1,200 family sustaining jobs in Western, Kentucky, an average economic loss of $50 million dollars annually into the regional economy.
His latest political ad on TV wants to tout his saving of jobs by fighting the blocking of waters below the dams. How many family sustaining jobs did this save???
Where is McConnell's factual documentation and advertising telling his constituents exactly how many jobs he has fought to create since elected as a U.S. Senator???
McConnell is only interested in "HIS JOB" and the millions of dollars as a result of insider trading tips he's received during the last 30 years in the U.S. Senate, that has raise his income from $400,000.00 to $26 million.
It's time to send McConnell packing back to Sheffield, Alabama!!!!!!