McConnell Strategy Session Could Deter Challengers

By Associated Press | 

An audio recording of a strategy session that became public Tuesday reflects the tenacity of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and could explain why no major Democrat has stepped forward to challenge his re-election.

McConnell has built a reputation over the past three decades as a political brawler, pummeling opponents to protect his unbroken string of Election Day victories.

Mother Jones magazine released a recording Tuesday of a private February meeting in which McConnell's campaign aides discussed using actress Ashley Judd's past bouts with depression against her if she had decided to challenge him.

University of Louisville political scientist Dewey Clayton said McConnell's tough-guy approach to campaigning may be holding potential opponents at bay at a time when polls show him politically vulnerable.

Judd decided last month not to run.

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