In an op-ed in a home state newspaper, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended his record on mental health issues -- his first direct response to critics of the comments his staff made during a campaign strategy meeting that was recorded and leaked to the press.

To those who criticized him as "insensitive to Americans suffering from depression or mental illness," McConnell wrote in the Lexington Herald-Leader that "nothing could be further from the truth."