msnbc | March 14, 2013
>>> as speculation continues to rise o over an ashley judd candidacy. mitch mcconnell is about to release an -- this six-figure ad buy features his wife.six-figure ad buy features his wife, former secretary of labor, elaine cho. joining me is congressman john yarmouth, a democrat from kentucky . what do you make of mcconnell's fast and furious ad buy. and why he's doing it right now?
>> one more indication, that mitch is very insecure about his re-election. he knows he has trouble, particularly with women. this ad was specifically targeted to women over 25. that was the statement from his campaign manager. and as someone who voted against the violence against women act and has consistently supported programs that don't support women's values, i think he's got a lot of work do do.
>> congressman, what's the inside track? does this ad indicate in the rising number of democrats targeting mcconnell, really show that ashley judd is about to announce her candidacy? i mean the speculation has been she's going to do it on derby day .
>> well, that would be the wrong day to do it. i think people will be pretty distracted in kentucky .
>> well around the derby.
>> right. around the derby, that sounds like a good target date. but i'm fully convinced that she's going to run. she has not told me definitively that she's made that decision. but i don't think you do all the things she's done unless you intend to make race. i think she's going to be a terrific candidate. and i think just the media furor of her thinking about the race is a case of how formidable she'll be. she'll have every opportunity to define herself and not let mitch define her.
>> meanwhile, she'll have a lot of opportunity potentially to be seen by millions of people. because ashley's sister, wynonna is going to be on " dancing with the stars ." i think back to when sarah palin was sitting in the audience, when her daughter, bristol, competed on " dancing with the stars " a couple of cycles ago. that's just free publicity. free advertising right there.
>> it is, once again it solidifies her image as a kentuckyian, someone who has deep roots in the commonwealth. every time that name judd is mentioned, it will call more attention to her candidacy. and again, the most important thing is mitch has survived by demonizing and defining relatively lesser-known candidates. and he won't have that strategy available to him with ashley judd .
>> but as we talk about kentucky politics and you can talk about this firsthand. mitch mcconnell has been a survivor. and with ashley judd throwing her hat into the ring, you know, potentially, do you think that she would just be labeled as this hollywood liberal that's coming in to try to just make a ruckus for him, but he could overall win?
>> the people of kentucky first and foremost, want to vote for somebody that they're comfortable with. they aren't comfortable with mitch mcconnell . they never have been. he's been a begrudging victor in most of his races. they like ashley judd . she's a university of kentucky graduate. she goes to many of the home basketball games. she leads cheers there. so again, she is a very widely popular figure in kentucky . and i think these labels of hollywood liberal just aren't going to stick.
>> and real quickly, before i let you go, i want to get your take on what happened earlier today in the senate. this feisty exchange between senators ted cruz and dianne feinstein . just before the senate judiciary committee passed feinstein's assault weapons ban . take a listen.
>> it seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document, with the constitution. and the second amendment in the bill of rights provides that the right of the people to keep an bear arms shall not be infringed.
>> i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. and i thank you for the lecture. incidental incidentally, this does not prohibit you use the word "prohibit" it exempts 2,271 weapons. isn't that enough?
>> sir, as we know the prospects in the full senate are bright for this do you think it's ever going to make it over to you in the house?
>> the assault weapons ban ? i think it's highly unlikely. i've said on a number of occasions, i don't really think that's the most important gun safety law we can pass. i think number one is background checks . number two, high-capacity magazines. and number three, and strengthening our trafficking laws. so i'm not as concerned about the fate of an assault weapons ban as i am the others.
>> the american people as we all watch this, should we expect that if there is going to be anything comprehensive reform on gun violence in the country, it's going to be done by baby steps and not something broad and sweeping?
>> i think so. you know, clearly, with background checks , polls show 90% of the american people are in favor of them. it's a number of about 75% in my own state. so i think there's certain things that are going to be easier to do than others. and probably a comprehensive ban. a comprehensive piece of legislation will probably contain poison pills that will keep any of them from being enact enacted.
>> congressman john yarmuth , thanks for