This early opposition research effort seems as much about scaring Democrats nationally about a Judd candidacy as informing Kentuckians before Judd even decides to make the race.
“Ms. Judd has a bit of a habit of making bizarre comments and observations that will put Democratic officials and candidates across the country in uncomfortable positions,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. “As for Kentucky, well let’s just say that Ms. Judd’s comments are outlandish for Hollywood, never mind Covington.”
The latest of Judd’s unorthodox views to rise to the surface courtesy of the GOP is a 2006 statement about why she doesn’t have children — which Republicans say will not sit well in Kentucky. “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries,” Judd said. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), who has been advising Judd, said that the actress was speaking for herself, and added that people in Kentucky understand the word “breeding.”
In a disjointed talk at George Washington University Friday, Judd, 44, may have given her opponents more fodder by referencing U2 rocker Bono, her dog being on a hunger strike and her extravagant travels. “We winter in Scotland. We’re smart like that,” she told students.
McConnell strategists said the campaign is well aware that it has to walk a fine line between defining Judd negatively and appearing nasty. Privately, senior advisers say they were dismayed that Karl Rove — himself a controversial figure — chose to produce an online ad recently, ridiculing Judd as an “Obama following radical Hollywood liberal.” By comparison, McConnell’s first Web ad was a humorous riff on how the Democrats have been unable to find a candidate to run against McConnell, and it included a clip of Judd saying that Tennessee — not Kentucky — was home.