By now, you’ve probably heard about a recording of a Mitch McConnell
campaign meeting where he discussed smearing Ashley Judd as mentally
unbalanced and not a true Christian. If not, the story is here and the transcript is here. Suffice it to say that it makes Mitch seems like a real jerk.
Mitch’s reaction was pretty much immediate.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign is
“working with the FBI” on how Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, obtained
a recording of political aides meeting with McConnell and discussing
opposition research on Ashley Judd, McConnell campaign manager Jesse
Benton told CNN Tuesday.
In the recordings,
political operatives huddling at the senator’s campaign headquarters in
Kentucky, are heard discussing potentially attacking Judd’s mental
health, as well as her left-leaning politics, if she had decided to make
a bid against McConnell, who’s running for a sixth term in office next
“Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in
Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent. By whom and how
that was accomplished will presumably be the subject of a criminal
investigation,” Benton said in a statement.
“We’ve always said
the Left will stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but
Watergate-style tactics to bug campaign headquarters is above and
beyond,” Benton also said.
I literally laughed out
loud at that last paragraph. McConnell can’t possibly believe that
someone in a ninja suit snuck in in the dead of night and planted a bug,
like some episode of Mission: Impossible. The recording was released by David Corn, the same person who released video of Mitt Romney’s disastrous “47%” comments.
And it seems far more likely that Corn got this recording the same way
he got the 47% video. Someone at that meeting recorded it on their
phone surreptitiously, which means McConnell is not surrounded
exclusively by friends.
Right now, McConnell is going into
standard disaster management mode and trying to change the subject from
what the recording says to how the recording was obtained — i.e., he
wants to make the switch from villain to victim. But he’s got a much
bigger problem: who is it that’s gunning for him and why? There are
going to be a lot of awkward conversations at McConnell campaign HQ in
the coming weeks.