Politics & Government

McConnell named one of Time’s ‘Most Influential’ as he embraces Trump in re-election video

The video also comes as McConnell’s campaign on Monday announced that he’d raised $2.1 million in the first three months of the year, a record for the veteran senator that puts potential challengers on notice that he plans an aggressive effort as he campaigns in a state where Trump remains popular, more popular than the six-term senator.

McConnell doesn’t yet have a Democratic opponent and seems unlikely to face a repeat primary challenger as he did in 2014. But he remains a top target for national Democrats, who still fault him for ostensibly denying Obama a Supreme Court seat.

And the video touts McConnell’s role in pushing to legalize hemp, featuring audio of Kentucky Sports Radio show host Matt Jones noting that legalized hemp “should have a big effect on Kentucky.”

Jones has expressed interest in challenging McConnell and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has reached out to Amy McGrath, a Democratic star who lost a Kentucky congressional race in 2018. In addition to the tweak at Jones, McConnell’s “Team Mitch” website on Wednesday temporarily linked to a so-called “404” error page that showed Garland standing next to Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. A caption read “Oops this page doesn’t exist, but just in case go donate and make sure it doesn’t come back.”

The video touts McConnell’s role in securing Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh to the court and his campaign website is also selling “Kentucky Tough” t-shirt with Trump’s praising McConnell for the confirmation vote. “He’s Kentucky tough!” the t-shirt quotes Trump as saying of McConnell at a 2018 campaign rally in Kentucky for Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kentucky. “He stared down the angry left-wing mob. He never blinked and he never looked back.”

And McConnell wrote the piece on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who joined him on the Time 100. He wrote that Kavanaugh, who denied charges of sexual misconduct in high school, was confirmed to the bench despite “unhinged partisanship.”

And McConnell wrote, he displayed “his resilience and commitment to public service. We saw his loyal devotion to family and friends. We saw his undeterred reverence for the law, for precedents and for our nation’s highest traditions.”