Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky politician known for his own dirty tricks, is accusing liberal news site Mother Jones of using “Nixonian” moves in exposing his plans to get nasty with anyone who dares run against him in 2014.
The web site has published an audio tape that reveals McConnell’s campaign operatives discussing using what they called “odd” religious beliefs and a purported history of depression of potential opponent Ashley Judd if she ran against him.
Judd, citing “family obligations” said last month she would not run and those close to her told Capitol Hill Blue that she had been told that McConnell would get “down and dirty” if she ran.
Now McConnell is claiming all kinds of conspiracies against him.
“Last month they were attacking my wife’s ethnicity, and then apparently unbeknownst to us at the time they were bugging our headquarters, a quite Nixonian move,” McConnell said at a Capitol Hill Press conference Tuesday. “This is what you get from the political left in America these days.”
McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton claims the office is now working with the FBI to investigate what he calls a secret taping by Mother Jones.
“Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent,” Benton claims. “By whom and how that was accomplished presumably will be the subject of a criminal investigation.”
Benton then one to send out a fundraising email, using the claims to try and raise campaign cash.
“Liberals and they media allies have hit a new low in their smears against out campaign, wiretapping our field office to spy on us,” Benton said in the email. “I need your help to fight back against these illegal and underhanded tactics.”
Capitol Hill Blue has learned that the tape actually came from a McConnell staff member who is upset over what that staff member thinks was the campaign’s attempts to smear Judd in a sleazy way.
Mother Jones gave McConnell’s office a chance to comment on the tape before it was published but the Senator’s people did not respond. Likewise, a call from this web site to McConnell for comment was not returned.