- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is upset after a liberal group in his home state of Kentucky posted several offensive tweets regarding his Taiwanese-born wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
"This woman has the ear of @McConnellPress - she's his #wife," the group Kentucky Progress tweeted on Feb. 14. "May explain why your job moved to #China!"
The group, Progress Kentucky, sent the offensive tweets on Feb. 14. Since then they have apologized for the off-color remarks, insisting the tweets did not reflect the values of the organization.
"Those tweets did not reflect our values, and we are committed to making sure nothing like that happens again," Shawn Reilly, executive director of Progress Kentucky, said in a statement posted on the group's website.
"We also apologize to our many supporters, and all Kentuckians working for change in 2014, for those communications. Comments with references to race, ethnicity or sexual orientation have no place in any debate, and we are deeply embarrassed by such a mistake," the statement added.
McConnell is under pressure to keep his district's seat after rumors began to swirl that actress Ashley Judd may intend to run against the minority leader in 2014.
"They will not get away with attacking my wife in this campaign," McConnell said recently during a Republican dinner in Winchester, according to Reuters
Chao was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States as an 8-year-old with her family in a container ship. McConnell quickly came to the defense of his wife and lambasted those who criticized the foreign-born citizen.
"Elaine Chao is just as much an American as any of the rest of them," McConnell said. "In fact, she had to go through a lot more to become an American."
McConnell's aides quickly issued a statement commending Chao on enduring hardships to pursue the American dream.
"Secretary Chao and her family are shining examples of the American dream: salt-of-the-earth folks who escaped oppression, came here with nothing, joined our great melting pot, worked exceptionally hard to build a thriving business, and then dedicated so much of their lives to giving back," Jesse Benton, manager of McConnell's re-election campaign, told AP.