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Mitch McConnell All But Dares President Obama to Visit Kentucky

Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.

(Photo by Pete Souza)
Pete Souza

During a floor speech Thursday morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell invited President Obama to visit Kentucky.The White House is kicking off a number of "Day in the Life" trips across the country this week in an effort to put a face on the struggling middle-class, and to get Obama out of the Oval Office bubble.Calling the visits a public relations stunt, McConnell all but dared the president talk with Kentuckians about his agenda."I invite him to visit with coal families in my state and hear the other side of the story that he won't hear from California billionaires," McConnell said."I invite him to meet with the veterans I hear from every day. And I invite him to meet with families like the Whitehead family from Allen County, who write to me about the damage his Obamacare law has already done to them."Watch:The president is unpopular in Kentucky and McConnell is a tight re-election bid against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.A new Public Policy Polling survey conducted this month said Grimes leads McConnell by two percentage points.McConnell's campaign has worked to tie Grimes to the president and his policies—namely the health care law and new pollution rules on coal-powered plants.Speaking on the floor, McConnell pummeled at moderate Democrats for failing to stand up to the president's agenda."These senators want everyone to believe they’re opposed to the administration’s waves of job-killing energy regulations," McConnell said."These Democrat senators say they’re ready to stand and fight. But when push comes to shove, they’re nowhere to be found."

The PPP survey, however, finds economic issues favorable to Grimes such as raising the minimum wage, are just as important to voters as "repealing Obamacare" and stopping "Obama's war on coal."The Democratic-leaning poll also examined public reaction to McConnell and Grimes' dueling plans to fund the Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky.Kentuckians preferred Grimes's idea of closing tax loopholes over McConnell's call to repeal prevailing wage rules by more than a six-to-one margin, according to the poll results."Kentuckians clearly prefer a Senate candidate who will close corporate tax loopholes and end tax breaks for the wealthy," Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said in a news release. "These issues are as important to them, if not more important, than issues currently being debated in the campaign. "The poll suggests that tax fairness could be a sleeper issue in this race."The McConnell campaign has blasted Grimes's approach to fund the bridge project as a tax increase—one that mirrors liberal Democratic leaders.Experts have said neither plan has much political chance in Washington or could adequately fund the Brent Spence Bridge.

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