Bill Clinton visits Kentucky to boost Grimes in senate race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - Campaigning with former president Bill Clinton, Democratic Senate challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes says Republican leader Mitch McConnell is out of ideas and part of the problem in Washington.

"It makes a big difference who wins this election and Alison Lundergan Grimes should win it, and she will with your help," Clinton told the crowd.

Clinton says McConnell's opposition to raising the minimum wage is reason enough for Kentuckians to replace him with Grimes, a longtime Clinton family friend.

Clinton says Grimes' jobs plan will strengthen the middle class. "It's not just about raising minimum wage. We ought to train people for jobs that are available," the former president said.

The former president is lending political muscle to Grimes' bid against the 30-year Senate veteran, known as a fundraising powerhouse and fierce competitor.

The speech in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday was Clinton's debut on the 2014 midterm election campaign trail. Clinton said that Grimes' support for raising the minimum wage is evidence that she cares about the middle class. McConnell's opposition, he said, is part of the GOP's strategy to "just pout" when Republicans are not in the White House.

Clinton's 1992 election ended 12 years of Republican presidents in the White House.

"The country was ready for a new fresh Southern face versus the old Washington been-there-too-long, part-of-the-problem institution. Sound familiar?" Grimes told the crowd in Louisville Tuesday.

"Politics is not rocket science. It's either creative cooperation or constant conflict. It's either a full focus on people or a focus on keeping yourself in power by keeping people torn up and upset so they can't think anymore," Clinton said.

For his part, McConnell pointed out that he's handily defeated other rivals when Clinton has visited Kentucky.

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