FRANKFORT, Ky. — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Mitch McConnell have slung darts on television and in the press. Now, the Massachusetts Democrat plans to wade into the maelstrom of Kentucky politics to campaign against the Senate minority leader on his home turf.
Warren plans to visit Kentucky to campaign with, and help raise money for, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat hoping to unseat McConnell this fall.
Grimes’ campaign confirms those plans. Spokeswoman Charly Norton said details haven’t been ironed out but Warren will attend “multiple events” with Grimes, including at least one with college students. On Thursday, the Grimes camp sent a fundraising email to supporters building up Warren’s visit and asking for donations.
Also Thursday, a Democratic activist and fundraiser in Northern Kentucky sent invitations to an event with Warren on June 28.
Some Republicans in the Bluegrass — especially those in McConnell’s campaign — think Warren is the wrong messenger for conservative Kentucky.
Allison Moore, McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman, called Warren “yet another anti-coal liberal senator sent by Harry Reid and Barack Obama to assist in their effort to continue enacting their anti-Kentucky agenda by getting Alison Lundergan Grimes elected.”
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday that Warren can be an effective advocate for Grimes.
“She seems to be a fighter for people,” said Beshear, a Democrat. “She wants to raise the minimum wage. She wants equal pay for equal work — all the kinds of things Alison Lundergan Grimes also wants.”
McConnell, running for a sixth term in the Senate, has framed his re-election campaign around President Obama, who is unpopular in Kentucky. He blames Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Grimes, by extension, for the struggles that face Kentucky’s coal industry.
Grimes, a first-term secretary of state, wants the race to be about McConnell’s career in Washington and resistance to measures like the minimum wage, which polls well in Kentucky and nationally.