American Crossroads ad takes aim at Ashley Judd

Herald-Leader Staff ReportFebruary 6, 2013 

The conservative Super PAC American Crossroads released an advertisement Wednesday on YouTube that mocks the political stances of actress Ashley Judd, who is considering a run for U.S. Senate next year in Kentucky.

In the video, a narrator labels Judd an “Obama-following, radical, Hollywood liberal who’s right at home here in Tennessee ... uh, I mean Kentucky.”

Karl Rove, a former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, is a co-founder of the group attacking Judd, who has been coy when asked about possibly challenging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

"Ashley thanks Senator McConnell, Karl Rove and their negative allies for all the attention as she considers her future political plans, although a decision hasn’t been made yet," a spokesperson for Judd said Wednesday in an email.

Judd, 44, spent much of her childhood in Kentucky and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an avid UK sports fan and usually attends several basketball games each season. Her mother and her half-sister, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, are country music stars who are both natives of Ashland.

Ashley Judd spoke for the Tennessee delegation at the Democratic National Convention in September. She has a home outside Nashville and would have to re-establish residency in Kentucky in order to seek office in 2014, when McConnell faces re-election.

Judd and champion race car driver Dario Franchitti announced last month that they are ending their marriage after more than 11 years.

The American Crossroads ad makes no mention of the divorce, but it does note that Judd’s grandmother, Polly Judd, told the Associated Press in November that her granddaughter was “a Hollywood liberal.”

Political consultants disagreed Wednesday about the implications and motivations behind the ad.

Kentucky Democratic consultant Dale Emmons said the ad is “not about Ashley Judd,” but rather a ploy to discourage legitimate candidates from challenging McConnell.

“Unfortunately, Judd is the tool Mitch needed to get his guys engaged to raise money and flex their muscle to intimidate Democrats,” Emmons said.

But state Republican consultant Mike Karem said the ad shows “McConnell is worried about the race, that he’s in trouble at this stage of the game.”

Previous coverage:

Judd announces separation from Franchitti

Rand Paul: Ashley Judd is 'way damn too liberal for our country and our state'

Social media abuzz with speculation about Ashley Judd running for U.S. Senate

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