LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- It is a point of agreement between U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrats; his role as Senate Minority Leader is largely defined by his opposition to certain pieces of legislation. A key question for Kentucky voters in 2014 is whether they agree with McConnell's strategy.
While McConnell points to his efforts to thwart "Obamacare" and energy policies harmful to Kentucky's coal industry, a new campaign by national Democrats seeks to blame McConnell for obstructionism on other legislation.
“Mitch McConnell’s self-proclaimed moniker as the ‘proud guardian of gridlock’ has devastating consequences for Kentucky jobs, seniors, women, veterans, and businesses," said Justin Barasky, National Press Secretary at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "As the walking talking embodiment of everything that’s wrong with Washington, Mitch McConnell is the number one reason for record breaking levels of obstruction and dysfunction.”
Barasky pointed to a July poll which showed voters "blame Republicans and Mitch McConnell for leading an unprecedented period of obstruction with a record 413 filibusters since he became Minority Leader in 2007."
The DSCC announced Tuesday that over the next several days and weeks, Democrats will launch a campaign to highlight how McConnell has obstructed "critical legislation for Kentuckians.... important to Kentucky jobs, women, veterans, small businesses, seniors, and more."
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has repeatedly cited McConnell's "obstructionism" in comments about the 2014 race.
The criticism prompted a conservative Super PAC, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, to run newspaper ads against her that said Grimes' attacks on McConnell for obstruction are a signal "to Washington liberals that she would rubber-stamp the Obama-Pelosi agenda that McConnell is defending Kentuckians from."
"There have been ads across the commonwealth that have questioned who this Kentucky woman listens to," Grimes responded at the Kentucky Democratic Party's Wendell Ford Dinner in June. Grimes told supporters she wears a WWWFD bracelet, for "What Would Wendell Ford Do."
"I will tell you that this Kentucky woman is listening to Kentucky, and from what I see we would benefit to have a senator in DC that did the same," Grimes said.
At the Democratic dinner, Grimes cited McConnell's voting record on the Violence Against Women Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Paycheck Fairness Act.
Asked last week about his vote against the Violence Against Women Act, McConnell explained to reporters that he had supported a stronger version of the legislation that was defeated by Democrats.