Ashley Judd hasn't officially announced a Senate run yet, but Republicans are making it increasingly clear that they view her as a legitimate political target. The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched the latest GOP attack against her this week with a parody fundraising email mocking Judd for her Tennessee residency and past controversial statements.
Judd, a registered Democrat and vocal activist, has been weighing her options for a 2014 Senate campaign in Kentucky against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). While Judd and her family have strong ties to Kentucky, the NRSC is seeking to hammer Judd as a wealthy, out-of-touch liberal whose allegiances lie more heavily with Tennessee.
In a faux email claiming to be from the non-existant "Ashley Judd Campaign" to "RichLiberal1," the NRSC jokingly suggests that Judd is preparing a move to Kentucky and is in the market for an extravagant mansion in order to be comfortable.
The mock fundraising request tells readers that if they could "donate $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000 we can start to piece together a down payment for a house that provides Judd all the amenities that she has grown accustomed to as she jets between Hollywood, Scotland, San Francisco and Tennessee."
The email goes on to make passing mention of Judd's support for President Barack Obama and her opposition to mountaintop removal coal extraction, as well as a number of comments she's made about women's rights that have been seized upon by conservative media.
While the NRSC's attack is not the first by Republicans against Judd -- Karl Rove's American Crossroads super PAC and McConnell have both released their own ads -- it comes as Judd looks to be taking clear steps toward a transition to politics.
In the past month, Judd has met repeatedly with high-powered Kentucky Democratic donors, as well as with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. She's also reportedly reached out to Democratic politicians in the state for support. Some, such as U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) have given it, while other Democratic lawmakers at the state level have expressed concerns that Judd's views on topics such as mountaintop removal would make her an unviable candidate whose presence would only strengthen Kentucky Republicans in 2014.