DCCC airs radio ad targeting 2012 GOP candidate Andy Barr in Ky.'s 6th District

08/08/2011 10:11 PM

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a radio ad Monday criticizing Republican congressional candidate Andy Barr and underscoring the increasing national attention on Kentucky’s 6th District.

“Andy Barr supports ending Medicare to protect tax breaks for big oil and millionaires. Tell Barr to stop choosing millionaires over seniors,” claims the ad that began airing on radio stations across the Central Kentucky district.

Barr has said that he would oppose Congress raising taxes, including tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. But he told Pure Politics in a July interview that he supports the Medicare program with some financial changes to it.

Barr, a Lexington lawyer, announced in June that he wanted a rematch with Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Versailles. Chandler edged Barr by 648 votes in the November 2010 election.

Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the DCCC, said the organization is focusing on 11 southern congressional districts as part of its “Accountability August” effort. Of those 11, 10 of the districts feature incumbent Republicans. Barr is the only Republican challenger targeted by the effort, which also includes a mix of ads, billboards, robocalls and gas station ads.

Nationally, the DCCC is applying the effort in 44 districts. DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement that House Republicans have voted to protect the tax breaks for the wealthy and oil companies at the expense of Medicare recipients.

House Republicans have voted to change future Medicare benefits for those under 55 as part of a long-range budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Barr said in a telephone interview Tuesday morning that the ad indicates how concerned the DCCC about Chandler’s ability to hold the 6th District.

“They know they’ve got a real political problem on their hands with vulnerable members,” Barr said.

And he said the DCCC is trying to “divert attention away from the disasterous Chandler-Obama economic policies.”

However, the debt has increased $4 trillion since Obama took office, partially because of policies, spending bills, tax cuts and U.S. engagement in two wars — all approved by previous presidents and Congress.

“Since Ben Chandler has been in Congress in 2004, the national debt has doubled. So sure, it goes back further than Barack Obama,” Barr said. “But the record and the facts are clear: Since Barack Obama and Ben Chandler have been in charge, the national debt has gone from a problem to a national emergency.”

This is not the first the activity in the 2012 6th District race. Soon after Barr announced his intent to run against Chandler, the National Republican Congressional Committee bought three weeks of ads that sought to link Chandler to President Barack Obama and accuses them of “making the economy worse.”

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.

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