/McConnell campaign criticized for tombstone with challengers name | TheHill

McConnell campaign criticized for tombstone with challengers name | TheHill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWarren says gun control depends on Dem control of Senate, urges people to donate Schumer to Trump: Demand McConnell hold vote on background check bill Tim Ryan calls Trump response to shootings ‘an absolute freaking joke’ MORE (R-Ky.) is being criticized after his reelection campaign put up a tombstone-shaped sign with his Democratic challenger’s name on it and the date of death listed as the 2020 elections.

His campaign tweeted a photo of the tombstones at a campaign event in Fancy Farm, Ky., and called McConnell the “Grim Reaper of Socialism.” McConnell has embraced Democratic criticism of him, saying he was happy to be the grim reaper of liberal proposals.

Among the five tombstones displayed by McConnell’s campaign is one reading, “R.I.P. Amy McGrath November 3, 2020.” 

Two more are dedicated to socialism and the Green New Deal, the progressive climate change plan championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezComey urges Trump to take a stand against racism after mass shootings Democrats call for Senate to return to vote on gun reform after two deadly mass shootings Ocasio-Cortez calls out McConnell for ‘sitting on’ gun reform bill since February MORE (D-N.Y.). 

The campaign also displayed a tombstone in honor of Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandProtestors interrupt McConnell event in Kentucky with ‘Moscow Mitch’ chants Frustrated liberals say Democrats aren’t aggressive enough on courts Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors MORE, former President Obama’s final nominee to the Supreme Court, who was blocked by McConnell until Obama’s term ended, leaving the spot open for President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker calls Trump’s address on mass shootings ‘bull—t soup’ A plea to progressive political pundits: Stop wringing your hands GOP state lawmaker: ‘Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country’ MORE to nominate a conservative justice.

The Grim Reaper of Socialism at #FancyFarm today. #FancyFarm139 pic.twitter.com/KMKJifu3b5

McConnell’s challenger said the death imagery is troubling — especially in wake of the recent mass shootings.

“Hours after the El Paso shooting, Mitch McConnell proudly tweeted this photo. I find it so troubling that our politics have become so nasty and personal that the Senate Majority Leader thinks it’s appropriate to use imagery of the death of a political opponent (me) as messaging,” McGrath tweeted, with a copy of the photo. 

A mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday killed at least 22 people. 

A separate shooting in Dayton, Ohio, killed at least nine people. 

“It’s symptomatic of what is wrong with our system. I’m fine with the ordinary rough and tumble of politics, but this strikes me as beyond the pale.”

Jamal Raad, communications director for Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeThe Democratic debates left the underdogs behind The Hill’s Campaign Report: Obama legacy under spotlight after Detroit debates Gabbard defends Biden on Iraq War record: ‘He was wrong — he said he was wrong’ MORE, a Democratic presidential candidate, also called out the McConnell campaign’s “grim reaper” tweet.

McConnell’s campaign manager Kevin Golden defended the use of tombstone-shaped signs. 

“Our supporters built an homage to the Courier Journal cartoon at Fancy Farm and we posted their work. Amy McGrath has tweeted this very cartoon several times and it’s shameful that she’s pretending not to know exactly what it is referencing in order to politicize a tragedy,” Golden said in a statement.

McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and reelected five times since. He is the longest-serving senator in Kentucky’s history.

McGrath narrowly lost a congressional race in a Republican stronghold district in 2018 to incumbent Rep. Andy BarrAndy Hale BarrMcConnnell launches statewide attack ad against Democratic Senate challenger Kentucky Democrat announces challenge to GOP Rep. Andy Barr McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE

She mounted her campaign against McConnell in July, and raised $2.5 million in her first day.

— Updated at 2:52 p.m.

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