Actress Ashley Judd on Tuesday waded deeper into speculation that she's preparing to mount a campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pushing back strongly against a liberal super PAC's attacks on the senator's wife.
On Tuesday, Democratic-aligned group Progress Kentucky drew charges of "race-baiting" from McConnell's campaign after repeatedly suggesting that his wife Elaine Chao's Chinese roots have led him to embrace anti-American policies.
Progress Kentucky later sought to distance themselves from the offending tweet. Shawn Reilly, the group's executive director, denied the allegations from McConnell's campaign while maintaining that the senator's relationship with his father-in-law posed a "conflict of interest."
Judd's decision to weigh in on the controversy comes as she appears to be taking steps to lay the groundwork for a move to politics. Earlier this month, Judd held meetings with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and top figures in Kentucky Democratic politics. While Judd has said she'll decide if she's running for Senate by the Kentucky Derby on May 4, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the only Democrat in the state's congressional delegation and a vocal Judd cheerleader, is already convinced that she's decided to enter the race.
Judd isn't the only McConnell critic who has spoken out against Progress Kentucky's tweets. Dan Logsdon, chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, told Talking Points Memo that the attacks were "deplorable and have absolutely no place in Kentucky, and frankly are just the kind of divisive politics that Sen. McConnell himself has used for too long."