Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting hit from both sides in the aftermath of the government shutdown -- and the latest volley comes from conservatives in the Kentucky contest.
The Senate Conservatives Fund, which endorsed McConnell’s GOP challenger Matt Bevin earlier this month, is launching its first TV ad since officially wading into the race, and it charges that “McConnell helped Barack Obama and Harry Reid fund Obamacare.”
“Conservatives asked Mitch McConnell to lead the fight against Obamacare. He didn't listen,” the 30-second ad says. “Now Kentucky families are paying the price. Premiums up, lost coverage, even lost jobs. When Kentucky needed Mitch McConnell the most, he let us down. Now he’s asking us to give him six more years in Washington?”
The $330,000 ad buy from the group’s super PAC arm, Senate Conservatives Action, will run statewide on broadcast and cable stations from Oct. 30 through Nov. 12. It’s the second SCF ad targeting McConnell, founded by now-Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint. Before the shutdown, they had launched another TV ad urging McConnell not to back down from defunding Obamacare.
McConnell was one of the key brokers working to resolve the 16-day stalemate, but for both sides it wasn’t enough. Conservatives, led by SCF, wanted McConnell to stand strong with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to work to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act as a condition of funding the government and raising the debt ceiling. Shortly after, SCF endorsed Bevin, running far behind McConnell in money and polling -- a shocking move for a group to take on such a top party leader.
McConnell released his own two-minute glossy web ad today, proclaiming that “while everyone else was talking, one man from Kentucky was leading” while featuring praise from commentators and lawmakers for his work on the deal.
*** UPDATE *** The McConnell camp issued this statement in response to the ad: "When Mitch McConnell was rallying conservatives to fight Obamacare the fundraising group responsible for these ads was working day and night to ensure Barack Obama's majority in the Senate. You get an idea of what team the Senate Conservatives Fund is on when you realize that there are scores of Democrats who actually voted for Obamacare up for re-election and this group, purporting to support conservative causes, is investing their well-intentioned donors money into attacking the man responsible for leading the opposition to the law."
First published October 29 2013, 8:42 AM