Months after Mitt Romney was secretly taped at a fundraiser maligning the "47 percent" of Americans who don't pay income taxes, Mother Jones, the same publication that unveiled that now-infamous clip that changed the trajectory of Romney's candidacy, is out with another secret tape: This time of a meeting between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., an embattled four-term senator who faces a tough re-election battle next year, and his campaign aides.
The tape, which according to Mother Jones was recorded on February 2 and provided to the publication by a source who required anonymity, captures the senator's aides discussing opposition research on Ashley Judd, the actress and activist who was at the time considering challenging McConnell for his Senate seat.
(She has since decided not to run.) Among the topics presented as possible campaign fodder include Judd's struggle with depression, her religious views, and the fact that her grandmother allegedly once called her an "out-of-touch, Hollywood liberal" -- among other things.
"You know, she's suffered some suicidal tendencies," said an aide in the room who appeared to be presenting the opposition research findings, per the tape. "She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s. Phil Maxson found this, which sort of I think is a pretty revealing interview."
Judd had previously revealed in her 2011 autobiography, "All That Is Bitter and Sweet," that she had thoughts of suicide and bouts with depression when she was younger.
On the tape, the presenter plays an interview in which Judd spoke of being overwhelmed upon returning to the U.S. from an overseas trip.
"I call it the American anesthesia. You know, I come back to this country. I freak out in airports. The colors, the sounds, all those different ways of packaging the same snack but trying to, you know, make it look like it's distinct and different and convince consumers that they have to have it," she says in the interview. "I mean all of that. The last time I came home from a trip, I absolutely flipped out when I saw pink fuzzy socks on a rack. I mean, I can never anticipate what is going to push me over the edge."
"So pink fuzzy socks are of concern," the aide said to laughter, after playing the clip. "So, that's sort of the tip of the iceberg. Like I said, you know, we're still drilling down and there's a wealth of material, and it's just hard to get all the way around it."
McConnell aides secretly taped ripping Ashley Judd - CBS News