It’s been a tough week for Alison Lundergan Grimes and her campaign to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. First, she doubled down on a silly dodge, adding a heaping dose of sanctimony and impressing no one. Immediately after that, the DSCC surrendered in Kentucky and pulled all of its ads in order to defend Democratic incumbents elsewhere. How much worse can get it for Grimes?
According to the Huffington Post, this much worse:
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is in deep water with progressives and immigration advocates after her campaign ran an ad calling undocumented immigrants “illegal aliens” and bizarrely accusing her opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), of being soft on immigration.
On Tuesday, progressive group MoveOn.org Political Action urged Grimes to take down the ad, calling it “upsetting.”
“MoveOn members in Kentucky and across the country are contacting millions of voters to help prevent a Republican takeover of the Senate, and it makes that important work harder when Democrats embrace inflammatory Republican rhetoric,” Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, said in a statement. “It’s deeply troubling that Grimes would stoop this low in order to try to defeat McConnell, and she needs to take this offensive advertisement off the air immediately.”
On top of that, a group founded by former DNC chair Howard Dean chimed in to demand that Grimes pull the ad:
Another left-wing pro-amnesty group, Democracy for America, which was founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, added to the criticism of Grimes. In a statement, executive director Charles Chamberlain said late Tuesday that “[t]he Grimes campaign must take down this offensive ad. It’s simply wrong for any Democrat to use right-wing talking points and dehumanize struggling immigrant families.”
“Democracy for America members have been proud to work with allies to end Mitch McConnell’s 30-year career in Washington and save the Senate from Republican control,” Chamberlain added, “but every moment Secretary Grimes fails to remove this hurtful ad ignores the plight of millions and makes our work more difficult.”
The demand to pull the ad is understandable, even in the context of a desperate bid to hold onto a Senate majority. The ad Grimes ran makes hash out of the argument that it’s Republicans who are out of the mainstream on immigration reform. Having this ad playing in Kentucky makes it pretty clear where that electorate stands on the issue, even perceived by a “lifelong Democrat” like Grimes:
This is of a piece with Grimes’ efforts of late to pretend she’s a Republican, or at the very least not a Democrat. It’s not surprising that her former allies are now beating a hasty retreat. However, it’s worth asking the question: Why are these groups demanding that this ad be pulled, and not Wendy Davis’ ad accusing Greg Abbott of profiting off of his disability? Why should Alison Lundergan Grimes have the toughest week?