LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is calling on the emcee of a Republican dinner to apologize for what a spokeswoman described as "a highly offensive and inappropriate" remark apparently at the expense of Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
As reported by New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman in attendance at the Fayette County Republican Party's Ronald Reagan Day Dinner, Rep. Stan Lee (R-Lexington) referred to controversial remarks last September by National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Brad Dayspring that Grimes was “incapable of articulating her own thoughts” and an “empty dress.”
"Maybe if he had said she looks fat in that empty dress," Lee quipped to the crowd, according to Weisman, who posted the quote on Twitter.
"It's no wonder the GOP and @Team_Mitch have a women's problem," Grimes' campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton tweeted about an hour later. "This is outrageous."
"Will the @KYGOP and @Team_Mitch denounce the comment?" Norton posted. "Or maybe standing up for women of KY isn't Mitch's job either."
Four and a half hours later, the McConnell campaign released its statement.
"We're all for a joke at dinner, but Rep. Lee's attempt at humor was highly offensive and inappropriate," said Allison Moore, Press Secretary for the McConnell campaign. "We have always known Rep. Lee to be a man of good character and hope that he will do the right thing and apologize."
Lee, a Lexington attorney, has served in the Kentucky General Assembly since 2001.