Mitch McConnell Desperately Wants You to Think He Cares About Women

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will face a tough reelection fight this November against his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state. As the New York Times reported yesterday, Grimes is expected to paint McConnell as anti-women's rights, and he's prepared to haul his wife out to prove that isn't true.

The story, written by Jason Horowitz, focuses on Elaine Chao, McConnell's wife of 21 years and the secretary of labor under George W. Bush. Per Horowtiz's report, the McConnell campaign is ready to push Chao—who is described as temperamental and ruthlessly ambitious—into the spotlight if, or when, Grimes' campaign tries to shift the conversation to McConnell's record on women's issues.

The McConnell campaign said that Ms. Chao, 61, would be a key surrogate in ads and at speaking events, especially if his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, "runs a campaign that tries to paint a picture of Mitch McConnell as having some kind of a blind spot for women's issues," said Josh Holmes, Mr. McConnell's former chief of staff and a senior adviser. "Obviously we have a pretty strong firsthand testimonial from somebody who can speak to how untrue that is."

Of course, there is a reason why McConnell's campaign is already publicly beating back the idea that he is anti-women six months before election day. That's because McConnell has a long history of voting against women's rights.

In 2008, he voted against the Equal Pay Bill. In 2009, he voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In 2010, he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In 2012, he again voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act as well as the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. In 2013, he again voted against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and this past April, just for good measure, he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act one more time.

But, hey, his wife loves him.

[image via Getty]