Kentucky's Grimes Thanks Ohio And Gives A Gentle Push

Jul 27, 2016

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

PHILADELPHIA – Kentucky's Democratic secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, came to the Ohio delegation breakfast here Wednesday morning for two purposes.

First, she wanted to say thanks to the nearly 10,000 Ohioans who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to her ultimately unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.

"It was a tough campaign; and I thank you," said Grimes, who was re-elected as Kentucky's chief elections officer last year. "Mitch McConnell is the leader of a do-nothing caucus. He is so stubborn, he could have a kidney stone and refuse to pass it."

Secondly, and most importantly, as a top elected Democrat from a state that hasn't gone for a Democrat since Bill Clinton, she wanted to cheer on the Ohioans – Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders delegates alike – to do everything they can this fall to win Ohio.

"There couldn't be a more stark contrast between the candidates in this presidential election." Grimes said. "Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have fought their entire lives for families and children, to help give the poorest among us a better life."

Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence "have spent their lives fighting for themselves and saying, 'I've got mine; you go see if you can get yours.'"

Trump, Grimes said, is "a billionaire bully who sells products with his name on them and sends them all overseas to be made."

Grimes, who addressed the convention at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday night, is a long-time friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. She first met the Clintons at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in Jan. 1993.

In her convention speech, she said that she's friends with Hillary Clinton, who checked on her while she was in law school "and stood by my side as I took on Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate's biggest bullies."

Grimes told the Ohio delegates the same thing she told the nation last night in her televised address – that she believes the Democratic nominee is a caring person who fights for issues important to working Americans, such as college affordability, voting rights, and affordable health care.

"Last night was a marvelous night," Grimes told the Ohio delegates Wednesday morning. "Hillary Clinton's name may be the one on the ballot, but each and every one of us has fought to break down the barriers."

After the speech, Grimes told WVXU that she believes the Democrats are now united – Sanders and Clinton supporters – on one goal: keeping Trump out of the White House.

The Republicans "had a hate-filled convention," Grimes said. "But we have come together here in Philadelphia. You saw it last night when Bernie Sanders stood on the convention floor and asked that Hillary be nominated by acclamation.

"We have come together," Grimes told WVXU. "This is not going to be an easy election. Everyone must go home from here and work. The stakes are very high. But we can and we will win."