Grimes’ opponent, Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, hasn’t proven he can work with members of both parties, Clinton said.
“He’s actually hoping that everyone will just check their brains at the door and hire him to do a job for the next six years that he hasn’t done for the last 30,” Clinton said.
The fundraiser was less than half the size of one held at the Galt House in February. The campaign said it raised about $700,000 from that event with Clinton.
Clinton, who endorsed Grimes’ jobs plan at the February fundraiser, made few references to Grimes’ policy positions Wednesday. He did support a minimum wage increase and equal pay for equal work among genders, two issues that Grimes has repeatedly raised on the campaign trail.
Grimes will try to make jobs and “pocketbook” issues the focal points of the rest of the campaign, said her campaign advisor, Jonathan Hurst.
The McConnell campaign said that the event with Clinton exposed Grimes’ weakness on coal.
“It must not have occurred to Alison Lundergan Grimes that after Barack Obama declared the war on coal, he named the building tasked with executing his mission after the man she’s bringing (to Kentucky),” Allison Moore, a McConnell spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.
Indeed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has proposed rules that many Kentucky politicians deem harmful to the state’s coal industry, has its headquarters in the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building in Washington. The building was renamed in 2013, according to news reports.
“Let me set it straight for you, Mitch McConnell,” Grimes shot back at Wednesday’s event. “I am the pro-coal candidate in the race.”
Grimes polls better on the issue of jobs, while McConnell does better on coal, according to data in the most recent Bluegrass Poll.
Clinton contrasted McConnell’s work in Washington with former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford. The Democrat routinely worked across party lines, Clinton said.
“Just like I trust Alison, I trust her opponent to keep doing what he’s been doing for 30 years,” Clinton said.
Tickets for the event started at $200, but people were able to donate several thousand dollars to the Kentucky Democratic Party or the campaign. Clinton and Grimes had another joint appearance in Hazard on Wednesday afternoon. That event was open to the public, Grimes campaign officials said.