Jim Gray releases ad targeting Sen. Paul's "wild-ass theories" in closing days of campaign

11/03/2016 01:11 PM

After debuting the line in their first and only debate on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” on Monday, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray is making U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s “wild-ass theories and philosophies” the basis of a new ad launched Thursday.

The 30-second spot, titled “Wild Ass,” comes days before Tuesday’s election, when politicians typically pivot back to close their campaigns on more positive themes rather than attacks.

The ad starts with Gray’s first use of the line during the lone debate with Paul before transitioning into a barrage of Paul’s “wild ass ideas,” alternating between male and female narrators: “Cut the military 30 percent. Stop surveillance of suspected terrorists. Raise the retirement age. Eliminate Medicare as we know it. Eliminate the Department of Education.”

“No wonder Rand Paul has never passed a single bill in Congress,” the male narrator says.

“And fellow Republicans think he’s just weird and naïve,” the female narrator says, referencing comments from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly.

The ad can be viewed here:

Gray’s campaign, which released the spot early Thursday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ad. Spokeswoman Cathy Lindsey said the ad is part of a “significant” television and digital buy in all Kentucky markets.

The “wild ass” war had raged away from the airwaves until Thursday, with Paul’s campaign fundraising on Facebook with the senator’s “Top Ten Wild Ass Philosophies” a day after the KET debate and later releasing a minute-long video featuring highlights of Paul’s responses during the forum.

That video can be viewed here:

The next day, Gray’s campaign sent a press release targeting Paul’s “Top 10 Wild-Ass Theories From the KET Debate.”

Paul’s campaign pushed back against the ad released Thursday.

“If our opponent thinks Dr. Rand Paul’s efforts to end the Clinton-Obama War on Coal, spend our tax dollars here in Kentucky instead of overseas, balance the budget, lower taxes, stand up for Kentucky farmers, read all of the bills before voting, and defend the entire Bill of Rights are wild ass ideas, he is proving again why he is wrong for Kentucky,” Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said in a statement.

“The only truly wild ass idea in this race is that someone who supports Hillary Clinton could ever defend Kentucky.”

The two sides have already litigated claims that Paul wanted to slash military spending. Gray’s campaign has pointed to a 2011 budget presented by the incumbent, which was estimated to cut defense spending between 23 and 30 percent, while the senator’s campaign has said a later proposal in 2013 actually called for increased spending in that area.

Gray, mayor of Lexington, has also hit Paul for his efforts in ending the Patriot Act, which he said weakened national security. The senator tagged the law as a constitutional and privacy issue after news of the National Security Agency’s bulk cell phone data collection broke.

Paul has also called for gradually raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 70 and transitioning the program to one similar for federal employees’ health insurance, which he’s said will save more than $1 trillion over 10 years, and sending education dollars back to states by eliminating the U.S. Department of Education.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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