Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D.) said Friday that Sen. Rand Paul (R.) "can be beaten," "just ask his neighbor."
Grimes made the comment at Kentucky's Fancy Farm picnic, which serves as a start to the state's campaign season for both parties, the Associated Press reports.
She said at the Democrats' traditional bean supper, "many folks think that Rand Paul can't be beat. I don't buy that. Just ask his neighbor. He can be beaten."
Grimes was referring to a November attack on Paul by his neighbor that left him with five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures.
After the attack, Paul also bled from cuts around his mouth and had difficulty breathing.
As for being beaten in an election, Paul first ran and was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He subsequently won his re-election race in 2016.
Doug Stafford, Paul's chief strategist, called Grimes' remarks "almost as sad and pathetic as her last campaign."
That’s almost as sad and pathetic as her last campaign. Mitch beat her so bad he almost got charged with a hate crime.
— Doug Stafford (@dougstafford) August 4, 2018
In 2014, Grimes ran against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) for Senate. She lost that race by over 15 points, but won re-election as Kentucky's secretary of state by just over 2 points a year later.
Grimes faces criticism from other Republicans in Kentucky, too.
Hardin County Republican Party chairwoman Kathy Sargeant said the joke was "low, even for her."
Desperate for attention, Grimes tries to make physically attacking elected officials a punchline. #FancyFarm has always been a place for lighthearted digs during political speeches and she not only missed the mark by a mile, but was low, even for her. 🙄 https://t.co/poy4AsjjKw
— Kathy Sargeant (@KathySargeant) August 5, 2018
In an interview with the Courier Journal on Monday, Grimes dismissed criticism and said, "Everybody needs to go in there with thick skin."