WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is a "guardian of gridlock" and "the main cause of dysfunction in Washington," Democratic political consultant James Carville wrote in a fundraising email for McConnell's Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D).
The email, sent from the Grimes campaign to supporters on Wednesday, said Grimes is in "a strong position" to defeat McConnell this year:
How do I know? For starters, I’ve been to Kentucky. I’m impressed by the disciplined campaign she’s building and her bold vision for the future. She's traveled to every corner of the Commonwealth, listening to Kentuckians. She's bringing a fresh perspective, talking about issues like raising the minimum wage, standing up for Kentucky's working families, and the need to end the culture of dysfunction in Washington. We have a golden opportunity to replace the worst of Washington with a public servant who will be a champion for the middle class.
Carville's email cites recent polls showing Grimes and McConnell nearly tied.
McConnell criticized the Senate in a speech on Wednesday, saying the body "can be better than it is" with procedural issues and partisan tensions.
In October, Grimes released an ad criticizing McConnell's record in the Senate. In 2006, McConnell remarked that he has served as "a proud guardian of gridlock from time to time, when there was a point to it."
Jerry Lundergan, Grimes' father, is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton. Carville ran Clinton's 1992 campaign to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency, and served as an adviser for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
When Grimes announced her candidacy for Senate in September, Carville told the Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville that Lundergan had roped him into attending a fundraiser for his daughter.