McConnell reaches out to women, shows softer side

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is talking openly about his childhood bout with polio and his mother's role in caring for him during the illness as the five-term lawmaker reaches out to women voters in Kentucky.

McConnell spoke Friday in Louisville at a campaign event that drew women from across the state, tearing up at one point when a campaign aide talked about her young son's fight against cancer.

At McConnell's side was his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who's expected to play a key role in what's shaping up as a tough re-election campaign.

Chao defended her husband's record on women's issues at the Friday event, saying he has pushed to increase funding for breast cancer research and to protect women soldiers from sexual assault.

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