Grimes mulling Senate bid, sidesteps question on recording controversy


by Joe Arnold

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:47 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky (WHAS11) -- Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) said Tuesday she is mulling a run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), yet declined to directly address a clandestine recording of McConnell's campaign headquarters by Democratic activists.

"I'm going to give (the Senate decision) the due diligence it deserves," Grimes told reporters at the state capitol, "and again that is taking time with my family and the supporters that helped to get me here to the office of Secretary of State."

Grimes later said she and Governor Steve Beshear "had a good discussion" after Beshear "reached out" to her for a meeting.  Beshear said the 2014 race was one of several items up for discussion.

Last week, Beshear called the secret recording of McConnell's campaign headquarters "deplorable," and Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson also distanced himself from the Progress Kentucky
SuperPAC members alleged to have carried out the operation.

"Every now and then you get a couple of 'wing nuts' that are out there rolling around," Abramson told WHAS11, "and they do what they do."

"We have said time and again they are not a part of the Democratic party, not a part of the organization," Abramson continued, "and it's been embarrassing to say the least."

The recording, released online by Mother Jones magazine, included a taste for Grimes of what it's like to be McConnell's political target.
A voice on the tape is heard discussing the opposition research conducted on Grimes, the 34 year old first term secretary of state.

"If you see a lot of footage of her, she definitely has a very sort of self-centered, sort of egotistical aspect," a presenter is heard saying.

WHAS11 first asked Grimes for a response to the opposition research.

"I will tell you that in running for Secretary of State, I found that Kentuckians were hungry, were wanting to have people here in Frankfort and indeed in Washington DC that are about bringing
people together not bringing them down," Grimes said.  

"And I think that's what we need to be doing not only here for the state but for the nation as well, is uniting and not dividing," Grimes continued.

WHAS11 then asked Grimes for her first statement on the actual recording of the meeting, given that both the governor and the lieutenant governor had denounced it.

"Again, I think that here in Kentucky, the citizens want candidates, they want people who are here shaping policy for Kentucky and for the nation that are about bringing people together and not personally attacking them or their families," Grimes responded.

Beshear repeated on Tuesday that he has "been talking with several people to gauge their interest in running."

"And I want to gauge her interest in running," Beshear continued.  "I think she would be a good candidate."
Beshear warned that whoever takes on McConnell is going to face a tough task. The second-term governor said McConnell is a "no-holds-barred" campaigner who can raise far more campaign cash than his opponents.
Beshear ran against McConnell and lost in 1996. Some Democratic leaders have been urging Beshear to consider a rematch, but he declined again on Tuesday.