#NewTone: Liberal super PAC using ethnicity-based attacks on McConnell’s “Chinese” wife

Despicable.   Via Lousiville’s WFPL news radio:

A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife.

For months, the liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky has attacked McConnell and held demonstrations at his offices and home.

Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell’s wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.

In a Feb. 14 Twitter message, Progress says: “This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she’s his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!”

The Tweet links to a website run by conspiracy theorist and radio host Jeff Rense, alleging Chao, who was born in Taiwan, discriminated against American workers during her tenure.

Progress Kentucky spokesman Curtis Morrison says the group’s leaders do not review every Tweet and initially denied any had mentioned Chao superficially. But he later told WFPL that a group volunteer had sent out the messages targeting the former secretary.

“It’s not an official statement. It’s a Tweet. And we will remove it if it’s wrong,” he says. “I follow Ashley Judd on Twitter and she removed a Tweet the other day, she Tweeted to you Phillip. People make mistakes in Tweets. It happens. Inferring that Elaine Chao is not a U.S. citizen was not our intention.”

Other messages from Progress’s social networking account about Chao have run for the past several days, saying her “Chinese (money)” is buying state elections. According to campaign finance records, members of Chao’s family donated $80,000 to the Kentucky GOP last year.

The super PAC has also posted vocal support of their criticism, one of which said “not many know McConnell’s wife is Chinese.”


In years past, opponents have questioned McConnell’s relationship with his father-in-law, James Chao, who owns Foremost Maritime Corp., a New York-based shipping company. The business has trade connections to China and Chao’s father has ties to its government.

Questioning his relationship with his father-in-law is one thing. Using his wife’s heritage to try and “prove a point”, on the other hand, is most definitely not.

Naturally, top Republicans have demanded an apology from Progress Kentucky and have called for Democrat leaders to denounce the attacks in the strongest of terms.  PK has said they will issue an apology to Chao later today and several leading Democrats at the state and national level have repudiated the PAC’s line of attack.  Even actress Ashley Judd, a potential opponent (seriously) for Senator McConnell in the 2014 Senate race, criticized the PAC without mentioning them by name:

Well, it sounds like the obligatory apologies and/or denunciations have been made, but the thing that should be the focus beyond this is how little national mainstream media attention this story has gotten. Had the parties been switched here and it was a Republican PAC making these types of attacks, we’d have wall to wall coverage, and non-stop “analysis” by MSDNC and other liberally slanted “news” outlets as to What It All Means for the future of the GOP. But it’s not, so state coverage is about the best we can get.

In a perfect world, the mainstream press would be consistent but ….. oh well.

Related: Via Daily Caller – Ashley Judd’s biggest problem: Her history of bizarre comments

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