Richard Milhous McConnell

When caught in a meeting with campaign ads plotting ways to smear a potential opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reacted with typical Nixonian double-speak by claiming to be the victim of a liberal plot. 

Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, published a tape recording of the Senate Republican leader’s meeting with staffers talking about the dirt they could use to smear actress Ashley Judd, potential Democratic opponent who has since said she’s not interested. They discussed attacking her mental health, religion, marriage and family values.  One aide was heard calling her “emotionally unbalanced” and having a history of depression, and McConnell himself told staffers they are in “the Whac-A-Mole period of the campaign … when anybody sticks their head up, do them out,” The Hill reported.

McConnell accused Progress Kentucky, a Democratic super-PAC of bugging his campaign headquarters “much like Nixon and Watergate,” and asked the FBI to investigate.  It was an old Nixon tactic to try to deflect attention from his own dirty tricks by accusing the other side of breaking the law by exposing his plans.

Mother Jones said the tape came from an anonymous source and ” It is our understanding that the tape was not the product of a Watergate-style bugging operation. We cannot comment beyond that.”

It was Mother Jones that released the famous and devastating Mitt Romney comments at a fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans were victims dependent on the federal government; that turned out to have been recorded by a bartender.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.