Mitch McConnell takes on Ashley Judd

February 19, 2013

In a three-minute Web video, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pokes at Democrats who hope to take him on in 2014 -- including actress Ashley Judd.

The video uses clips from town halls held by President Obama to suggest that the White House is searching desperately for a viable candidate to run against McConnell in Kentucky. Judd, who has said she is interested, is shown in the video representing Tennessee at the Democratic National Convention and calling the state her home.

Other candidates mocked in the video include Ed Marksberry, who ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2010; Matthew Barzun, a Louisville businessman and former ambassador to Sweden (shown here in a top hat); and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is shown referring to herself in the third person. There are also clips of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and Rep. John Yarmuth saying they're not interested in the race.

The super PAC American Crossroads has also targeted Judd in Web ads, using a similar line of attack -- that she is too liberal and not really from the state. Judd graduated from the University of Kentucky and spent part of her childhood in the state, but her primary U.S. residence is in Tennessee. (Her Web site says she lives in both states.)

The actress has not made any announcements. But she recently invited her 160,000 Twitter followers to join her mailing list, saying, "You’ll be the first to know, well, all sorts of things.” A local news station recently reported that she is leaning toward a Senate bid.

"We all know President Obama and his liberal allies have made Senator McConnell their number one target," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement. "We thought we would have a little fun with the problems they've ... had finding someone to carry President Obama's banner in Kentucky."

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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