"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd said Friday that Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes "disqualified herself" by refusing to say whether she voted to elect President Obama.
A full panel of pundits on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," including host Joe Scarborough, panned Grimes's dodge, which came during a Thursday sit-down with The Courier-Journal editorial board.
Asked directly three times about whether she voted for Obama, Grimes repeatedly refused to answer, declaring that Obama's not on the ballot this fall and defending the "sanctity of the ballot box."
"And Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever gonna answer a tough question on anything?" Todd asked, incredulously, after viewing the clip.
"You wanna be a U.S. senator? If you can't find a way to stand behind your party's president ... you can disagree with him but you can't answer a basic question and you come across looking that ridiculous?
"I think she disqualified herself," he added.
Scarborough called it a "rookie mistake."
Republicans seized on the initial clip of the interview, blasting it out to reporters Thursday, as further evidence Grimes has little substance to offer to voters. She has often struggled to respond to unscripted questions on the campaign trail or avoided answering them altogether.
Polling has shown her locked in a tight race with Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' MORE (R-Ky.), and the two meet for their first debate on Monday.