Once a 'guardian of gridlock,' McConnell's new video boasts that he busted it

10/29/2013 08:30 AM

This time Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is highlighting how he busted gridlock.

The re-election campaign for McConnell, who once acknowledged being a “proud guardian of gridlock” in a Senate floor speech, released a two-minute video focusing on McConnell’s role this month to end the stalemate over the government shutdown and to raise the debt ceiling.

The first 20 seconds of the video — produced by filmmaker Lucas Baiano — compiles negative references to gridlock before pivoting to praising McConnell for brokering the deal earlier this month with Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

The video then shows news and interview clips, such as Republican Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah telling NBC’s Chuck Todd, “McConnell is a terrific leader. There’s nobody that’s been any better than McConnell.”

Whether meant to or not, McConnell’s video that will appear online comes as an answer to dueling criticism from the five-term senator’s chief opponents. On Monday, the campaigns for both Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republican primary challenger Matt Bevin launched web videos criticizing McConnell. Grimes’ message was that McConnell can’t take credit for putting out a fire he helped light in Washington while Bevin’s video sought to reach disaffected conservatives by highlighting praise McConnell received from Democrats.

McConnell’s ad, though, makes sure to include some visuals and clips meant to appeal to conservative Republican primary voters as well.

  • It references the 2011 sequester cuts that were implemented as a result of a failed attempt at a grand bargain to raise the debt limit in exchange for spending cuts. “2011: Cut over $2 trillion in government spending.” And it shows a May 2011 headline from the Washington Post that included the phrase “McConnell demands spending cuts.”
  • And it highlights the New Years Day deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and more spending cuts. A pundit is heard saying, “Mitch McConnell kept taxes from going up on 99 percent of Kentuckians and 99 percent of Americans.”


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