“This latest incident not only gives Kentucky voters good reason to question Grimes’ authenticity, it leads them to question whether she has the courage to stand up for Kentucky values in Washington. If we can’t trust her in a room full of people who wrote checks because they like Harry Reid’s policies, how can we trust her in a caucus of Democratic Senators who like Harry Reid’s policies?” – Scott Jennings, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership
Grimes was caught in a couple of lies about bringing up coal at her fundraiser with Harry Reid. First, she promised she would bring up Obama’s climate rules and share the hardship of Kentuckians at her event. A recording of the event clearly shows that didn’t happen. Then she was apparently caught in a shifting story about a supposed private conversation with Reid, which one event attendee said “there is no way” could have happened (see tracking video below showing Reid coming and going without Grimes).
Here’s a roundup of news coverage of this defining moment for Grimes:
- “Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign insisted last week that she’d use a high-dollar fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a forum to promote Kentucky’s coal industry and demand action to protect the use of fossil fuel. That didn’t happen, according to an audio recording of the affair obtained by POLITICO through a source at the event.” Politico, June 9, 2014.
- “Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes promised to defend Kentucky’s coal industry during a fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week, but she never mentioned coal during an 11-minute speech at the Washington, D.C., event…” Lexington Herald-Leader, June 9, 2014.
- “’Alison, I’m not only depending on you, and my 54 Democratic senators are depending on you, but our country is depending on you,’ Reid is heard saying. ‘I say that as unequivocally as I can.’ During her remarks, Grimes indicates that she and Reid are in regular contact about her campaign, a potentially troublesome admission as the McConnell camp attempts to nationalize the race and link Grimes to Reid and President Barack Obama.” WHAS11.com, June 10, 2014.
- “On Saturday, Grimes’ campaign manager, Jonathan Hurst, told The Associated Press that the candidate spoke to Reid and the donors at the fundraiser where she ‘offered real stories of Kentuckians struggling to make ends meet and stressed that we need a comprehensive, balanced approach that reins in the EPA, invests in clean coal technology and keeps foreign markets open for Kentucky coal.’ The Grimes campaign hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the recording and says she had a ‘private conversation’ with Reid about coal and energy. A Washington consultant who attended the event said ‘there is no way’ Grimes could have privately had a discussion with Reid at the event because he arrived late and left before the Kentuckian.” Politico, June 9, 2014.
- On the point of whether Grimes spoke to Reid before and after the event, clearly she did not. Here’s the video proof:
- “Kentucky Democratic Senate hopeful Allison Lundergan Grimes is coming under fire for telling Kentuckians that she is not the typical DC politician, but then schmoozing with DC’s elite Democratic politicians, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Last week, her campaign promised that an expensive fundraiser with Harry Reid would be used as a forum to promote Kentucky’s coal industry and to mandate action that would protect the use of fossil fuel. Lundergan Grimes failed to deliver on her promise, instead choosing to bask in Harry Reid’s lavish praise. The Nevada Senator called the Kentucky Senate hopeful ‘the perfect candidate’ and ‘something special.’ So taken with his compliments, Lundergan Grimes failed to mention the word ‘coal’ once during her fundraiser with him, the very reason for which her campaign said she was hosting the fundraiser.” Washington Free Beacon, June 10, 2014