National groups seek to soften up McConnell with '30 years is too long' campaign

06/20/2013 08:56 AM

UPDATED A pair of national Democratic super PACs unveiled their campaign theme against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday starting with a new ad declaring that “30 years is too long” for McConnell to have been in Washington.

That line will be the foundation of the effort to unseat McConnell, the Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA super PAC announced in a joint statement.

“Mitch McConnell talks one way in Kentucky and votes a different way in Washington, DC” said Craig Varoga, President of Patriot Majority USA. “He thinks this double talk will keep him in the Senate for more than 30 years, but we’re going to use his own words and his real votes to ask the question, over and over, how long is too long?”

The effort kicks off even without a big-name Democratic challenger in the race. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is still considering whether to jump in the 2014 race and has been talking with national Democrats to see how much support they would give in an effort to unseat McConnell.

The national groups are investing in what they called a “major television buy” with a first ad that repeatedly plays a soundbite of McConnell saying, “I’ve lived on a government salary for 30 years.”

Republican Party of Kentucky spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper responded in a statement that “Barack Obama’s allies have seen the top ten Democratic Party challengers pass and are desperate to find an opponent to take on Senator McConnell.

“Mitch is strong, deeply respected, and fighting hard for Kentucky so it is no wonder Washington liberals are now scrambling in a last ditch effort to recruit a second-tier candidate,” Cooper said.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s communications director also called the super PAC’s ad a strategic waste of money.

“Endangered red-state Democratic Senators like Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, and Kay Hagan must be thrilled that Harry Reid’s Super-PAC is lighting their resources on fire in Kentucky rather than helping them to protect their seats from being lost,” NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement. “Though Alison Lundergan Grimes may be the most reluctant candidate in America, nonetheless Democrats are desperate to find a sacrificial lamb in Kentucky and if they want to burn their resources in the process that’s just fine with us.”

UPDATED: McConnell’s campaign on Thursday put up a video as a Web ad that indirectly responds to the Democratic groups’ theme.

The four-and-a-half minute video quotes Kentuckians about McConnell and shows McConnell saying that, “My leadership position is important to Kentucky because it puts me in the middle of all of the big decisions that are made in the country … I never lose track of who I represent when I’m involved in these discussions on national and international matters.”

The video, produced by veteran media consultant Larry McCarthy, played at many Republican Lincoln Day Dinners earlier this year.


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