- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has rebuked members from the liberal party for making remarks against his wife, Elaine Chao, concerning her heritage.
McConnell's aides have referred to the remarks made about Chao as "unconscionable" and "blatant race bating." Chao was born in Thailand and moved to the U.S. with her family aboard a freight ship when she was 8-years-old.
"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!"
McConnell defended his wife's American citizenship by stating that she had worked much harder to obtain it than most Americans do.
"Elaine Chao is just as much an American as any of the rest of them," McConnell said according to Capitol Hill Blue. "In fact, she had to go through a lot more to become an American."
Jesse Benton, manager of McConnell's re-election campaign, referred to Chao and her family as "shining examples of the American dream" adding that they had dedicated "much of their lives to giving back" to the system. "It is unconscionable that anyone would use blatant race-baiting for political gain," he responded in a post on Twitter.
"Those tweets did not reflect our values, and we are committed to making sure nothing like that happens again," executive director Shawn Reilly said in a statement posted on the group's website.
Hours later the group accused McConnell of "playing the victim" by using the tweet as a decoy from more pressing issues.
"Mitch McConnell's 'outrage' masks weakness," the group wrote in a post on their Blog Spot page.
It stated that McConnell's rebuttal was against "two liberal Louisville activist" who had "erroneously" posted the tweet about the Senator's wife.