Discussing the Kentucky Senate race between Mitch McConnell (R) and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), All In’s Chris Hayes cheered the Democratic candidate on, despite blatant falsehoods in her political ads. While Hayes did note those errors in the segment, he brushed them aside to say that in reality those lies are the truth.
The ad featured Grimes sitting next to a coal miner who claimed that McConnell voted to raise his Medicare costs to $6,000. Hayes stated correctly that this was false and that the man would “most likely not have been affected by the proposed Medicare changes.” Hayes then brought on Brian Beutler of The New Republic to discuss, at which point they both came to the conclusion that Grimes’s claims are really, actually, kind of accurate. Confused? You are not alone. [MP3 audio here; video below]
Beutler accused McConnell – not Grimes – of trying to “distract Kentucky voters, ” because McConnell would have been likely to vote for the Ryan budget, while technically speaking he only supported the plan with a procedural vote and on an interview with Meet the Press.
Not once during the conversation did it cross the minds of either Beutler or Hayes that the Ryan plan, regardless of whether McConnell himself supported it, could actually benefit Kentucky voters. Viewers were only subject to comments like these from Hayes:
The thing that makes the McConnell race so fascinating, and Mitch McConnell’s political figure so fascinating, is that here's a guy who represents a state with a lot of poor folks in it...And it's a state that he has been – gotten political success in by essentially bringing home the bacon. Time and time again. And yet he is the guy who is running this sort of Tea Party obstructionist wing of the Republican Party and he’s gotta find a way to sell himself to Kentucky voters without being associated with the policy ramifications of what that Republican Party in Washington wants to do.
Beutler seemed to agree entirely, and lamented McConnell for his supposed “false claims.” Once again, there was no mention of Ms. Lundergan Grimes’s misleading statements, because those simply don’t find the agenda of the Lean Forward network. Hayes wrapped up the segment with one last pot shot at the supposed damage the Ryan budget has done to GOP candidates, declaring, “ I'm amazed by the enduring ability of the Paul Ryan budget to screw over Republican politicians...here we are in 2014, where Mitch McConnell's got a race on his hands trying to distance himself from the Ryan budget in 2014.”
The lengths the liberal media will go to spin truths into lies and lies into truths in order to benefit the liberal cause could not be shown more clearly than on last night’s All In program.
The relevant portion of the transcript is below.
All In with Chris Hayes
July 15, 2014
8:18 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS HAYES, host: Grimes is running neck and neck with McConnell in the polls. She recently got a visit on the campaign trail from progressive star Elizabeth Warren. And just last week she released her first attack ad, hitting Mitch McConnell over his support for Medicare changes in Paul Ryan's budget.
ALISON LUNDERGAN-GRIMES, Senate candidate (D-Kentucky): I'm Alison Lundergan-Grimes. And this is Don Disney from Cloverlick, Kentucky, and he has a question for Senator McConnell.
DON DISNEY: Senator, I'm a retired coal miner. I want to know how you could have voted to raise my Medicare cost to $6,000. How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?
HAYES: You can always tell when an attack ad draws blood by the level of defensiveness it inspires. And on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say this was about a 10.
MCCONNELL AD: As Barack Obama's Kentucky candidate, Alison Grimes repeats the same falsehoods Obama does, but news media call the Grimes/Obama Medicare attack laughable, using shaky claims to mis-characterize Mitch McConnell's record.
HAYES: Okay. On the facts, the McConnell campaign is right here. That $6,000 estimate was revised down and the guy in the ad would most likely not have been affected by the proposed Medicare changes. And also, technically, Mitch McConnell never voted to pass the Ryan budget when it was originally proposed in 2011. He voted for it in a procedural test vote. A bit of theater, if you will. In a statement to factcheck.org, the McConnell campaign said quote, "There's just no way to speculate if McConnell would have voted for final passage without having debated the amendments." Here's the thing. The Ryan budget was clearly going down in the Senate, and at the time, everyone watching understood that test vote, that procedural vote as an opportunity for Senate Republicans to go on the record with their support for the Ryan budget. It's not just me saying so. McConnell, himself, expressed his support for the plan in an appearance that week on Meet the Press.
HAYES: Joining me now, Brian Beutler, senior editor at The New Republic who wrote a great piece pointing out the inconsistencies here. So, that vote, I mean, at the time McConnell was unequivocal, he was voting for the Ryan plan and the Ryan plan would have changed Medicare in all kinds of ways that it's hard to think a lot of rank and file voting Kentuckians would have liked.
BRIAN BEUTLER, senior editor, The New Republic: Right. I mean, what he's doing here is he’s trying to use sort of Senate procedural chicanery to distract Kentucky voters from what everyone kinda who follows the legislative process and the budget process understands which is that when parties issue a draft version of their budget, it is sort of like a statement of the party's policy priorities.
BEUTLER: Everyone understands in Washington and anyone who follows politics closely understands that the Ryan budget, whether it was a 2011 version, 2012 version, whatever is basically a statement of what the Republican Party would do were it given complete control of the government. And he's completely comfortable with what Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party want to do should that electoral outcome ever, ever be handed to them. Now, obviously there's the budget process where you start with that and you amend it a bunch and in theory the, you know, the final outcome of that process could yield something that maybe Mitch McConnell wouldn't support. But that's not really what he was voting on. He was voting on the platonic version of the Paul Ryan budget.
HAYES: That's right.
BEUTLER: The path to prosperity, and he supports it 100%.
HAYES: And the key here, I think, and the thing that makes the McConnell race so fascinating, and Mitch McConnell’s political figure so fascinating, is that here's a guy who represents a state with a lot of poor folks in it. It’s a state where a lot of people are dependent upon disability, in which people are dependent upon different programs of the federal government. It's a state in which the Medicaid expansion has been massively popular and successful. And it's a state that he has been – gotten political success in by essentially bringing home the bacon. Time and time again. And yet he is the guy who is running this sort of Tea Party obstructionist wing of the Republican Party and he’s gotta find a way to sell himself to Kentucky voters without being associated with the policy ramifications of what that Republican Party in Washington wants to do.
BEUTLER: Right and you know Kentucky is a pretty red state, right? And it would sort of be like if Democrats in 2007 or 2008 had put forward an agenda for the presidential candidates including universal health care, they all ran on universal health care. Then you get to the general election and suddenly Barack Obama says, well I'm not so sure I'm for universal health care. We'll see what the Congress comes up with in the end. Nobody would buy that, right. And voters would treat that as being absurd beyond belief. Clearly somebody is trying to pull the wool over my eyes, but I think there's a problem here that the Republicans sort of face pretty consistently which is that they have this agenda that is on the one hand very plutocratic but on the other hand they represent states where there's a lot of rural poverty and things like that so they need to find other ways to sell the agenda and it's only when there's focus on those agenda items that they end up in these, tripping over themselves with these sort of false claims.
HAYES: I'm amazed by the enduring ability of the Paul Ryan budget to screw over Republican politicians, and I remember at the time, I mean, Rachel and I remember on air talking about why would you vote for this thing? It's not going to pass and you just committed yourself to a whole set of wildly unpopular policies and here it is, years later, it was painfully destructive for Mitt Romney. I think the data bears that out. And here we are in 2014, where Mitch McConnell's got a race on his hands trying to distance himself from the Ryan budget in 2014.