Mitch McConnell’s Democratic Challenger Delivers Greatest Slam During First Face-Off

'If doctors told Senator McConnell he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it.' - McConnell challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Image @ PolicyMic

‘If doctors told Senator McConnell he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it.’ – McConnell challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Image @ PolicyMic

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell once promised to keep the Senate in perpetual gridlock in an effort to bring down President Obama. In that effort, he has stopped hundreds of bills from being passed via use of the filibuster, which has been used a record number of times since Obama took office. It’s this tyranny of the minority that has Democrats more energized than ever before to end McConnell’s career as a Senator.

Enter Alison Lundergan Grimes, the young Kentucky Secretary of State who is challenging McConnell for his Senate seat. The Democratic challenger has taken the race by storm and has become a real threat to defeat McConnell in November 2014.

On Saturday night, McConnell and Grimes faced off for the for time in the 133rd political forum at Fancy Farm in Kentucky. It was there that Grimes set the tone for what looks to be an exciting race for Democrats and a tough one for Republicans. Politico reports that while McConnell spoke in broad terms and had no desire to directly attack his Democratic opponent, Lundergan went straight for the jugular, blaming McConnell for being the reason why nothing gets done in the Senate, and delivering by far the most memorable line of the evening.

“Senator McConnell is the most unpopular senator among Democrats but Republicans as well,” Lundergan said. “There’s a reason he’s so disliked. He sowed the seeds of dysfunction, and after 30 years Senator McConnell is in the center of it. As long as he remains in D.C., D.C. will stand for dysfunctional capitol… The GOP has come to stand for gridlock, obstruction and partisanship. If doctors told Senator McConnell he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it.”

Lundergan isn’t the only challenger McConnell has to worry about. His right flank is also under attack from the Tea Party because the Minority Leader allowed immigration reform to get through the Senate last month. It’s certainly possible that McConnell may not even make it past the primary, but whoever ends up facing Lundergan in the general election faces perhaps an even steeper climb to victory.

Lundergan sat down for an interview with The Huffington Post prior to the forum and proudly stood in support of a woman’s right to choose and for the separation of church and state.

“I am a practicing Catholic. But I’m also for separation of church and state. I am supportive of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. And I think that this is the kind of choice that has to be up to the woman, her God and her doctor.”

By taking this position, Lundergan is clearly making an effort to capture the female vote in 2014. In 2012, women left the Republican Party in droves and voted for Democrats as punishment for the extreme anti-abortion laws the GOP has been pushing in states across the country and at the federal level. As a result of the Republican war on women, the GOP lost the female vote by 11 points, 55-44. Not only that, the election saw a record number of women elected to the House and the Senate. If Lundergan wants to beat McConnell, standing up for women’s rights and winning the female vote is the place to start. A recent PPP poll already has her one point ahead of McConnell.

Winning the Kentucky race would be a tremendous gain for Democrats. Not only would they gain a seat in the Senate, they would defeat the most powerful Republican in the chamber and prove they can still win in red states. As it stands, the Kentucky Senate race truly is the one to watch as the nation steams ever closer to 2014.