McConnell's new radio ad defends himself on Obamacare to the right by going after the left

09/09/2013 10:04 AM

The campaign for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is shifting its ad message from the GOP primary back to Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and the familiar topic of the Affordable Care Act in its latest radio and Web ad out Monday.

Much of the minute long spot, which will air on radio markets statewide, outlines McConnell’s arguments against “Obamacare,” whose major tenets will begin taking effect in the coming months.

And the ad ignores McConnell’s primary challenger, Matt Bevin, as it asks “Where do the candidates stand?” and shows only McConnell and Grimes.

“Alison Lundergan Grimes supports Obamacare. Mitch McConnell has been the number one opponent of Obamacare from the start. McConnell supports bills to repeal and defund Obamcare,” a female announcer says. The ad then cuts to McConnell’s comments from the Conservative Political Action Conference in March in which McConnell first called for repealing the law “root and branch.”

Over the last two weeks, McConnell has been on the receiving end of critical ads about the Affordable Care Act. Conservative groups, such as the Senate Conservative Fund, criticized the Republican Senate leader in radio and TV ads that call on McConnell to pledge to hold the line to defund the Affordable Care Act during the upcoming battle over continuing resolutions for the federal budget.

So the McConnell campaign’s latest radio buy allows McConnell to respond to those critics on the right by attacking his chief opponent on the left.

Grimes has said she has problems with the law but wants Congress to fix them rather than spending time trying to repeal the entire law.

The new spot also comes as McConnell is in the national spotlight over his position on proposed U.S. military action in Syria. McConnell has said he will say early this week whether he supports a strike as proposed by President Barack Obama. He first must meet with the Republican caucus he leads, which has disparate positions on the strike. Most of Kentucky’s delegation is against or leaning against supporting action .

And with the ad McConnell also is turning his attention on the radio waves ahead to the general election in which he anticipates facing Grimes. McConnell’s campaign had been hitting Republican challenger Bevin with ads about the background of Bevin, who is a Louisville businessman.

Bevin, like the conservative groups, has called on McConnell to join efforts by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, to pass a continuing resolution that removes funding for the Affordable Care Act.

“The way to end it is to stop parading around with a dolly and with ribbons on it, and talking about yanking things out root and branch … Talk is cheap,” Bevin told Pure Politics after his appearance at Fancy Farm last month. “It is time to end the talk.”

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