Tags: grimes | mcconnell | empty | dress

Dems Try to Smear McConnell Over 'Empty Dress' Remark

Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 04:30 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Sen. Claire McCaskill, who won her bid for re-election last year following an insensitive comment about rape from her Republican challenger, is now trying to tie Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to an allegedly sexist remark made by an underling.

"I don't understand these men in the Republican Party. It seems almost impossible for them to open their mouths without insulting women," McCaskill, D-Mo., said Thursday, according to Talking Points Memo.

Her comments come after Brad Dayspring, communications director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, lashed out at Democrat Alison Lundergren Grimes, McConnell's challenger in next year's Kentucky election to the Senate.

Dayspring had called Grimes an "empty dress" who "babbles incoherently." Dayspring does not work directly for McConnell.

"How ironic that Mitch McConnell talks about the importance of women voters to his campaign, and a few days later his spokesman uses a sexist smear against a strong, smart and capable woman," McCaskill said.

McCaskill was re-elected to the Senate from Missouri last year after support for her Republican challenger, Todd Akin, plunged when he claimed a woman's body could naturally end a pregnancy that came from a "legitimate rape."

Regan Page, deputy press secretary of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tied Dayspring's comments to McConnell, saying they came from "a Republican operative who reports to Mitch McConnell" and that they were "consistent with McConnell's long history of leading the war on women."

Meanwhile, the committee used the Dayspring comments to launch a fundraising drive for Grimes, noting that McConnell launched a women's coalition effort less than a week ago, Politico reports.

The fundraising solicitation, sent out with the subject line "Sexist Attacks," said the "empty dress" comment was made after polls showed Grimes ahead in the race, and called for $3 contributions to help keep McConnell from reclaiming the lead.

But GOP officials say their attack on Grimes was valid and that she is ill-prepared to be a senator, and accuse Democrats of creating an issue to gain votes.

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