On Saturday, according to various sources including Politico, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky lashed out against a liberal group called Kentucky Progress which criticized his wife’s Asian heritage. McConnell called the group’s messages on Twitter about his wife – former United States Labor Secretary Elaine Chao - no less than “racial slurs” and “the ultimate outrage.”
Sen. McConnell was speaking to some-100 supporters at a Republican dinner in Winchester, Kentucky when he said:
They will not get away with attacking my wife in this campaign.
The tweeted message about Chao on Twitter which provoked McConnell stated:
This woman has the ear of @McConnellPress – she’s his #wife. May explain why your job moved to #China!
At the event on Saturday, the Republican senator defended his Taiwan-born wife who has been living in the United States since she was 8 years old.
Elaine Chao is just as much an American as any of the rest of them. In fact, she had to go through a lot more to become an American.
Additionally, McConnell’s re-election campaign manager Jesse Benton said:
Secretary Chao and her family are shining examples of the American dream: salt-of-the-earth folks who escaped oppression, came here with nothing, joined our great melting pot, worked exceptionally hard to build a thriving business, and then dedicated so much of their lives to giving back. It is unconscionable that anyone would use blatant race-baiting for political gain.
The message was sent over social media on Feb. 14, and McConnell’s aides criticized the action in the past. It wasn’t until complaints were publicly aired via public media on Louisville’s WFPL-FM radio station about the messages against McConnell’s wife that the liberal group removed the messages and apologized.
Criticism of Kentucky Progress extended beyond the Republican and conservative circles in Kentucky, as many Democrats – including potential senatorial candidate Ashley Judd – criticized the liberal group’s tactics.