Karl Rove: Mitch McConnell in 'Fight of His Life'

Image: Karl Rove: Mitch McConnell in 'Fight of His Life'

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 01:55 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is going to be in the "fight of his life" to hang onto his Kentucky seat against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, said Republican strategist Karl Rove.

McConnell's challenge is that Kentucky is primarily a Democratic state, Rove told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Wednesday. He said the threat is especially critical for McConnell, a Republican, because Senate Majority Leader "Harry Reid and [President] Barack Obama want him defeated."

"We think of Kentucky as [a] reliably Republican state, which it is at a presidential level now," Rove said. "The entire state government, all of the statewide elected officials [in] Kentucky in the capital and Frankfort are Democrats, with the exception of one."

"It's a Democrat state. And Mitch McConnell's going to be in the fight of his life," said Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

Rove said the comment by Grimes that Obama was "not going to be an issue in this race" because his name was not on the ballot showed a "defensive measure" that would not "go over too well" among voters.

Reports by Democrats that the tea party had taken over the GOP were "baloney," Rove said. Wins in Kentucky by McConnell and Republican Sen. Rand Paul are evidence of that, since each represented different factions of the Republican party, and each got 60 percent of the vote in their Senate races.

Rove said candidates from different factions of the GOP could win if they appealed to all party members. He said a candidate could unite the party when they go beyond one group and act "as a magnet to draws others in."

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