Real estate mogul Donald Trump had harsh words on Wednesday for an American Crossroads ad targeting a potential Ashley Judd Senate campaign in Kentucky.
"They took her at her absolute prime. They made her look great. Most beautiful pictures of her I've ever seen. They had her speaking about our brilliant president, President Obama," Trump complained to conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin. "And what they did basically was make her look great -- and made President Obama look great."
Judd has been considering challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his Senate seat in 2014, going as far as discussing the possibility with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and doing opposition research to test her political viability in her home state.
"Instead of not saying anything, now [Judd is] at the forefront of running for office," Trump said of the decision to run the ad. "They've already made her a rock star."
Trump has repeatedly criticized American Crossroads founder Karl Rove for his inability to turn a massive campaign war chest into Republican victories in the 2012 election cycle. He recently tweeted that the GOP operative was a "total loser."
The American Crossroads ad released last week, called "Ashley's Story," is an early attempt by conservatives to define the actress for Kentucky voters. The ad (see video below) quotes a Daily Caller story in which Judd's grandmother called her a "Hollywood liberal" and portrayed her as a strong supporter of President Barack Obama.
In response to the ad, Judd's publicist told The Washington Post that Judd thanked McConnell, Rove and "their negative allies for all the attention."
While the possibility of a high-profile Judd run for the Senate has drew the attention of the GOP establishment, it has also created a rift among Kentucky Democrats. Roll Call reported that some state Democrats fear her public record would undermine the party's chances overall in Kentucky next year.
In a survey released Wednesday by Republican pollsters, Judd trailed McConnell in a hypothetical 2014 Senate matchup by 9 percentage points.