McConnell's wife fires back on Dems

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, is firing back on attacks from Democrats in a new ad.

In the ad, Chao takes on criticism of McConnell on women's issues.

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“Have you ever noticed how some liberals feel entitled to speak on behalf of all women? As if every woman agrees with Barack Obama,” Chao says in the ad.

She says that Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’s (Ky.) “gender-based attacks are desperate and false.”

The attack is a shot at Grimes’s last campaign ad, in which a Kentuckian asks why McConnell opposed the Violence Against Women Act twice. Images of that ad with the words, “against enforcing equal pay for women” flash on the screen in the McConnell ad.

An announcer says McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act, and he “voted for even stronger protections than Obama’s agenda will allow.”

McConnell did indeed co-sponsor the original bill, though he didn’t sponsor the version that ultimately passed. And while he did oppose reauthorization twice, he did so along with many other Republicans because, they said, one changed version of the bill went too far, and because once it was attached to legislation banning assault weapons.

Chao closes the ad by declaring, “Alison, supporting the Obama agenda isn’t pro-woman, it’s anti-Kentucky.”

Democrats see an opening in hammering McConnell on women’s issues, as female voters make up a sizeable portion of the Kentucky electorate, and they’ve been breaking in Grimes’s favor in most polls of the race.

And though McConnell’s campaign has pushed back aggressively on the attacks, its decision to feature Chao is an indication of how damaging it believes the attacks could be if unchecked.