Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was very upset this week at a group of liberals who took the liberty of insulting his Asian wife. McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, was referenced with what he defined to be “racial slurs” on Twitter.
Cho moved to the US from Taiwan at the age of 8 and rose to become one of the most powerful women in the United States. But she is the subject of numerous campaign attacks in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky.
“They will not get away with attacking my wife in this campaign,” McConnell said.
“This woman has the ear of (at) McConnell Press — she’s his (hash)wife,” the group Progress Kentucky tweeted. “May explain why your job moved to (hash)China!”
The group has issued apologies, referring to the tweet as inappropriate. The apologies came after a radio station in Louisville aired reports on the incidents. The attacks were in reference to criticism that the Republican Party has faced for moving jobs overseas to China and other foreign countries.
“Elaine Chao is just as much an American as any of the rest of them,” McConnell said. “In fact, she had to go through a lot more to become an American.”
McConnell’s people are jumping on this opportunity to boost their campaign by using the attacks to their political advantage.
“Secretary Chao and her family are shining examples of the American dream: salt-of-the-earth folks who escaped oppression, came here with nothing, joined our great melting pot, worked exceptionally hard to build a thriving business, and then dedicated so much of their lives to giving back,” said Jesse Benton, manager of McConnell’s re-election campaign. “It is unconscionable that anyone would use blatant race-baiting for political gain.”
Progress Kentucky executive director Shawn Reilly released this statement about the incidents.
“Those tweets did not reflect our values, and we are committed to making sure nothing like that happens again.” He said.
Even Democrats are joining in the chorus of critics who are bashing the organization’s move.