A liberal Super PAC is under fire this week after posting a series of race-baiting comments about the wife Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell.
Progress Kentucky, a Democratic group that has made ousting McConnell their top priority, recently tweeted out the following in regards to Elaine Chao: "This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she's his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!" That Feb. 14 message also contained links to a website run by radio host Jeff Rense, an avid conspiracy theorist, who alleged that Taiwanese-born Chao discriminated against U.S. citizens during his stint as Secretary of Labor. Other tweets from the same account accused Chao’s ‘Chinese money’ of buying state elections.
According to WFPL, Progress Kentucky initially tried to claim that it doesn't review every single tweet that goes out.
"It’s not an official statement. It’s a Tweet. And we will remove it if it’s wrong," Curtis Morrison told the Louisville news station. "I follow Ashley Judd on Twitter and she removed a Tweet the other day, she Tweeted to you Phillip. People make mistakes in Tweets. It happens. Inferring that Elaine Chao is not a U.S. citizen was not our intention."
As you would expect, that lukewarm ‘sorry if you were offended’ retort didn’t do much to satisfy people.
"We just think this kind of race-baiting has absolutely no place in American politics. We think Progress Kentucky should really be ashamed of what’s been going out under their name. People should be fired and a public apology should be issued,"McConnel’s campaign manager Jesse Benton said of the incident. "I think everybody of good conscience in Kentucky should agree that these sort of attacks should be pushed to the side."
Ultimately, Morrison acknowledged that Progress Kentucky maybe crossed the line.
"It's a fine line, and that is not our overall message. we’ve got some Tweets there that shouldn’t be there and I’ll make sure they come down. We don’t want to cross that line," says Morrison. "We’re not after anybody because they are an immigrant, but I think it’s fair to question whether or not there’s a conflict of interest."
Ashley Judd, McConnell’s rumored foe in the next election, sent out this tweet regarding Progress Kentucky’s controversial messages:
Whatever the intention, whatever the venue, whomever the person, attacks or comments on anyone's ethnicity are wrong & patently unacceptable
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) February 26, 2013
Finally, after being criticized from every side imaginable, Progress Kentucky executive director Shawn Reilly offered this apology: "We apologize to the secretary for that unnecessary comment and have deleted the tweets in question. In addition, we have put a review process in place to ensure tweets and other social media communications from Progress Kentucky are reviewed and approved prior to posting.”