By Louis Casiano
Published August 05, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is facing criticism from his Democratic challenger after his campaign tweeted a photo Saturday of tombstone-shaped signs displaying her name and those of other Democrats with a death date listed as the 2020 election.
Among the five tombstones shown were one featuring the name of McConnell's Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath, that read "R.I.P. Amy McGrath November 3, 2020."
Another displayed the name of Merrick Garland, the Supreme Court nominee of former President Barack Obama. His nomination was blocked by McConnell, leaving the seat open for President Trump to nominate a conservative justice.
Others display the words "Socialism" and the "Green New Deal," the ambitious climate change plan put forth by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
McGrath, a former Marine combat aviator, found the photo troubling, considering it came hours after a gunman killed at least 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
"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," she tweeted in response.
"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," McGrath said in a follow-up tweet.
A few hours after the El Paso mass shooting, a gunman killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio.
Kevin Golden, McConnell's campaign manager, told Fox News the photo was based on a political cartoon in the Louisville Courier-Journal that McGrath has tweeted several times.
"Our supporters built an homage to the Courier Journal cartoon at Fancy Farm and we posted their work," Golden said in an emailed statement. "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."
Last month, McGrath tweeted the newspaper cartoon to criticize McConnell's reaction to coal miner deaths and their exposure to deadly toxins.