McConnell, Obama agree that President's policies are main issue - WDRB 41 Louisville News

McConnell, Obama agree that President's policies are main issue in fall election

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It may be hard to believe, but Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell says he agrees with President Barack Obama about this fall's election.

For months now, McConnell has been saying this election is not about his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes but, instead, it is about President Obama and his policies.

In a recent speech, the President seemed to agree.

"I'm not on the ballot this fall. Michelle's pretty happy about that. But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them," said the President in a speech last Thursday at Northwestern University.

Many political observers, including Dr. Dewey Clayton of the University of Louisville, say they're surprised by Obama's statement.

He says the comment serves as an unintended gift to McConnell.

"It doesn't help McConnell with everyone because there are some people that actually like some of his policies, believe it or not, but it does help him with a lot of people who might sort of be on the fence here," said Clayton.

The McConnell campaign immediately jumped on the statement, releasing a new ad using the President's comments and claiming, "a vote for Alison is a vote for his policies."

Following an appearance in Louisville on Friday, McConnell was anxious to address the issue.

"The President confirmed the obvious. No amount of ducking and hiding will obscure the fact that my opponent will be an Obama supporter," he said.

While the Grimes campaign calls McConnell's ad "dishonest," it has not commented, so far, on the President's statement.

From the beginning, Grimes has been trying to distance herself from the Obama administration, including during her speech at Fancy Farm.

"Senator, you seem to think that the President is on the ballot this year. He's not. This race is between me and you, and the people of Kentucky, we intend to hold you accountable for your 30 years of failed leadership," Grimes said to the raucous crowd.

Clayton says while the President's comments certainly don't help the Grimes campaign, it is not a fatal blow.

He believes the race is still too close to call.

"I am surprised it's still as close as it is, given the fact that he is Senate Minority Leader. He's been in Congress for some time now. I think that, clearly, he's the odds-on favorite but I wouldn't discount her at this point," said Clayton.

Clayton says the race may come down to turnout.

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