Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who is up for re-election in 2020, is facing harsh criticisms over what some are calling an insensitive choice in posting to social media images of tombstones following two mass shootings over the weekend.
The tombstones depict measures or names of people McConnell has defeated in the Senate, blocked from Senate confirmation, won an election against, or is set to face in an upcoming election, the Washington Post reported. They include “Socialism,” “The Green New Deal,” Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and current Democratic opponent Amy McGrath.
In the tweet, McConnell’s campaign wrote, “The Grim Reaper of Socialism at #FancyFarm today,” referencing the event where the tombstones were put up. They were allegedly placed there by McConnell supporters, not the campaign itself.
McGrath wrote on Twitter on Monday a scathing criticism of the tweet by McConnell’s social media team, which appeared hours after a mass shooting occurred in El Paso, Texas, where at least 22 individuals were killed by a gunman in a Walmart there.
“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 wrote in her tweet, which shared the image.
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. pic.twitter.com/2x5kO5jwPi
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) August 5, 2019
In a second tweet, McGrath elaborated her feelings on the matter.
“I’m fine with the ordinary rough and tumble of politics, but this strikes me as beyond the pale,” she wrote.
The McConnell campaign tried to play the imagery off as a popular political cartoon seen in the state, alleging that McGrath was overreacting.
“Our supporters built an homage to the (Louisville) Courier Journal cartoon at Fancy Farm and we posted their work,” McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden said. “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.”
McGrath has indeed tweeted the image of the political cartoon that the McConnell team is referencing. However, her tweeting of that image was criticizing McConnell, who shared the image on his personal Twitter account, after only spending two minutes with coal miners to discuss their health issues.
ICYMI: before Mitch McConnell gave sick coal miners only 2 minutes of his time, he thought it was funny to tweet about them dying 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 https://t.co/hBkGpUCPv7
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) July 29, 2019