Coming soon in an McConnell ad near you: McConnell's next coal argument against Grimes

02/09/2014 02:22 PM

MADISONVILLE — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is not only sticking to his script of focusing on his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s regulations of coal, he’s doubling down.

On Saturday, McConnell made two campaign stops for coal related speeches — one in Hazard, where the Eastern Kentucky coal mines have shed thousands of jobs in recent years, and one in western Kentucky, which thanks to cheaper but higher sulfur coal has fared much better.

The rally, which drew just over 100 supporters on a still-icy Saturday afternoon, served as a backdrop for political filmmaker Lucas Baiano, who along with a full crew, was getting footage for the campaign’s next video. McConnell hired Baiano last year to produce online ads and campaign videos.

McConnell also made good on something he told reporters last fall: that sometimes he would not stop to take questions so as to keep the media focused on the message he wanted to get out. So he didn’t stop to answer questions from the Kentucky press after the rally.

Here are the takeaways that will likely show up in McConnell’s next campaign video:

McConnell and his supporters seemed to tacitly acknowledge that Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes might be saying the right things when it comes to the coal industry. (Grimes this year has given three policy speeches about jobs, including one in Prestonsburg in which she pledged to supporter miners and criticized McConnell for not doing enough for them).

But Grimes has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from liberals, including many in Hollywood, McConnell said. Indeed, Grimes’ most recent report includes the maximum donations from Hollywood stalwarts as Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett, “All in the Family” writer Norman Lear and his wife, and “Ali” and “Heat” director Michael Mann, among others.

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