Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) asked that Amy McGrath, the Kentucky Democrat challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his seat this year, refrain from using his image in her advertising after she cited him in a video blitzing McConnell.
“Ohioans are focused exclusively on getting through COVID-19 and getting our people back to work, and I'm proud to work with partners at the local and federal level to get it done. It’s for that reason that I’m particularly disappointed with an attack ad by Amy McGrath that uses my image against my friend, Mitch McConnell,” DeWine, who has received bipartisan praise for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in his state, said in a statement.
“Mitch and I have worked together for a long time and I know that he is focused, as I am, on this crisis and I appreciate his leadership,” he continued. “I ask for the McGrath campaign to remove my image from her advertising immediately.”
DeWine has seen his popularity soar thanks to his handling of the coronavirus, with the governor straddling the line between imposing restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 and working to reopen the economy. Polling has shown his approval skyrocket among both parties, with a Washington Post-Ipsos poll finding he wins 84 percent approval among Republicans and 90 percent approval among Democrats.
Here’s Gov. Larry Hogan (R. MD) crying about it too:
Thanks for promoting the ad, Larry. McGrath is rightfully not backing down from the ad:
Ã¢ÂÂ Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) May 16, 2020
McConnell's allies quickly pounced saying the McGrath ad had already backfired but she told The Courier Journal she has no intention of running away from her message to voters.
“This is exactly what’s wrong with politics,” McGrath said. “Every comment is, unfortunately, examined through a red or blue lens. In this case, I'm pointing out that leadership doesn't depend on your political jersey color. It's about your actions.”
McGrath expressed that she still believes DeWine is doing “important work” for Ohio as are governors on both sides of the aisle. But she said she is let down by the Buckeye State leader's response to the TV ad.
“It is disappointing that he rejects sincere appreciation from a Democrat, and it shows how far we have strayed from our ideals as a nation,” McGrath said.
One of McGrath's points in the ad takes McConnell to task for suggesting states file for bankruptcy rather than receive more federal assistance. Democratic and Republican governors spoke out last month against McConnell's suggestion. Hogan was among those who criticized McConnell during the pandemic. He called the bankruptcy remarks “complete nonsense” and said he hopes the Kentucky Republican would reconsider that statement.
Republican critics said McGrath's reaction amounts to a slap at one of the very governors her ad seeks to praise.
“'It’s sad he didn’t appreciate being in my attack ad' is a helluva take from Amy McGrath,” Republican strategist Michael Duncan said in a tweet Staruday.
McConnell campaign spokeswoman Kate Cooksey said Saturday the McGrath ad shows how she is “only interested in shamelessly cozying up to popular leaders like DeWine.”
But McConnell launched a similar 15-second spot in early April about his coronavirus efforts that featured Beshear who has been noted to have equally high approval ratings.
The McConnell spot also jabbed at McGrath, but in that instance Kentucky's Democratic governor did not speak out against the use of his image in the advertisement.
There’s a tension at the heart of all of the plans to reopen the country in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: The economy needs Americans to get back to work, but workplaces need employees and customers to feel that coming back won’t endanger their health or their lives.Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, seems to be concerned primarily with the first half. The biggest obstacle, as he sees it, is not a deadly disease but rapacious trial lawyers, capitalizing on the virus to chase ambulances and bankrupt American businesses.“If people don’t come and businesses are afraid to open because of the lawyers that are lurking on the curbside outside their doors, we won’t have the reopening we want,” he said late last month. He warned of “years of endless lawsuits” from employees and customers flooding the courthouses with claims that a business’s negligence infected them with the virus. He’s called this supposed wave of litigation a “second pandemic.”As Congress gears up for the next installment of its stimulus package, Mr. McConnell has drawn a line: No more money for anyone until businesses get immunity from liability during the pandemic. The demands being debated include making it harder to claim that a business is at fault for a worker’s or customer’s infection, protecting businesses that are making personal protective equipment like masks for the first time, and protecting employers against privacy lawsuits if they disclose a worker’s infection.
Or they can shut the fuck up and let McGrath kick Moscow Mitch’s ass so that a real public servant can take over. Let’s make that happen. Click here to donate and get involved with McGrath’s campaign.