U.S. Senate candidates and outside groups seek to brand each other through new ads

07/08/2014 09:52 AM

The ads in the U.S. Senate race that many expected would already be flooding Kentucky airwaves are picking up this week with Democratic Alison Lundergan Grimes launching her new approach against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and an outside group seeking to paint Grimes as elusive to voters.

Grimes’ new ad campaign uses questions from Kentuckians to portray McConnell as an out-of-touch Washington politician.

In an ad released Tuesday, Grimes sits beside a retired coal miner named Don Disney from Cloverlick in Eastern Kentucky. Grimes identifies herself before allowing the Kentucky resident to ask a question of Senator McConnell.

“Senator, I’m a retired coal miner. I want to know how you could’ve voted to raise my Medicare costs by six thousand dollars,” Disney says in the ad. “How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?”

The question is followed by a long pause before Grimes says “I don’t think he’s going to answer that”.

Disney is referring to a vote by McConnell in favor of the Paul Ryan Budget plan in 2011. The budget plan was a big topic of debate in the 2012 presidential election after Ryan, the U.S. House budget chairman and vice presidential candidate, released his approach to converting Medicare into more of a voucher program. Wealthier retirees would get a small voucher for their health care while those with less means would receive a larger voucher. The approach was criticized by Democrats.

In a statement, the McConnell campaign said that the Grimes ad is the same old type of attack that is out of date and disingenuous.

“It says a lot about the candidacy of Alison Lundergan Grimes that she’s a full four months away from the election and she already hit the panic button by resorting to the oldest, most cynical attack in the Obama playbook to scare Kentucky seniors. The simple reality is that Senator McConnell has fought to protect Medicare, while Alison Lundergan Grimes and her political benefactors have raided it by $700 billion to pay for Obamacare,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement.

Pro-McConnell group paints Grimes as an escape artist

Grimes, meanwhile, is targeted in a new ad by pro-McConnell group the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition.

In the group’s most recent commercial, Grimes is criticized for not answering questions herself. The spot uses clips of Kentucky news outlets, including cn|2. And the ad illustrates to the audience that Grimes has been unwilling to answer questions of the press at times.

Both Grimes and McConnell have been highly selective about when to answer media questions and how many to answer.

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition’s point is that Kentuckians don’t know what she stands for or even who she is.

See the ad here:

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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