Alison Lundergan Grimes’s First National TV Interview Was Absurdly Robotic

by Andrew Johnson

Alison Lundergan Grimes made her national-television debut last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and the Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate didn’t exactly impress.

Throughout the interview, Grimes, who’s running against Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, seemed committed to delivering a canned stump speech even as O’Donnell served up easy questions.

The host began by asking her about McConnell’s vow not to raise the minimum wage — seemingly a toss-up — and Grimes pivoted immediately to attacking McConnell on other, unrelated specific policy issues. There was, of course, frequent use of “Koch brothers,” “millionaires and billionaires,” and “Wall Street” references.

At one point, she abruptly reverted to a campaign-style rallying cry in a question about audio of McConnell discussing potential approaches to budgetary showdowns.

“I invite everyone to come and join, and be a part of this effort — the nation needs to rise up with us,” she said, pitching her campaign’s website. “And together we will make November 4 Mitch McConnell’s worst day yet.”

On the campaign trail, Grimes has run into her share of problems articulating her message, and often times confusing reporters and voters with her off-the-cuff, unprepared remarks. Earlier this summer, I chronicled the several times her staff has had to clean up after her and clarify what she’s said. On other circumstances, she’s offered incoherent or uniformed answers on topics such as the president’s emergency supplemental request for the border crisis or Israel’s Iron Dome.

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