Washington might blame Mitch McConnell for this even having a chance to become a thing, but Karl Rove is blaming Hollywood — and he isn't backing off his Ashley Judd for Senate smear campaign.
On Wednesday Rove's American Crossroads SuperPAC debuted "Ashley's Story," a blooper reel of sorts featuring the 44-year-old actress, who is reportedly a contender to challenge McConnell — the most unpopular Senator in the country — for his Kentucky Senate seat next year. And now Rove says that even more ads are coming against the actress, who, it should be noted, hasn't actually decided whether she's running or not. Rove told Fox News last night: "She is not going to be able to wait until the screenwriters from California and the producers make her look good." He even explicitly referred to the campaign of former actor Al Franken, who narrowly won Minnesota's 2008 Senate race:
We don’t want to have happen in Kentucky what happened in Minnesota where Al Franken knew, "I need to have a short campaign. I don’t want people to pay a lot of attention to me, I don’t want people to know a lot about me except I’m a celebrity and a nice guy."
Running ads against people who haven't declared a run sounds like a strange tactic, and a waste of money, sure. At the same time, the ad — currently airing on the Internet only — suggests a broader comeback strategy for Karl Rove, who is currently under fire from fellow conservatives for trying to prevent gaffe-prone candidates from running, and for circumventing an already upset Tea Party. After all, Rove bombed in 2012: his Super PAC failed to secure a single victory for any of the candidates it threw money behind. In Judd, it's possible Rove sees a way to redeem himself by painting her as a fundamentally unserious candidate who offends the sensibilities of Kentuckians.
Still, Rove's attacks haven't thrown Judd off quite yet. Responding to the ad, her camp told the Washington Post, "Ashley thanks Senator McConnell, Karl Rove, and their negative allies for all the attention as she considers her future political plans."
Here's the ad: