In a brutal new Jack Conway TV spot set to air in Kentucky soon, Rand Paul is being forced to confront the series of missteps on a Medicare deductible that Democrats say is threatening Republican efforts to win the all-important senior citizen vote.
The new spot, obtained exclusively by TPM, is the latest salvo in a week-long war over Paul's public advocacy for raising the Medicare deductible to $2,000. Back in 2009, Paul was caught on tape suggesting the move as part of a "market-based" transition for the government program, a move he admitted at the time was at best a tough sell to the electorate.
Since then, Paul has attempted to walk back the stance -- first airing a commercial saying he never said it (he later edited
that spot to say, basically, that he never meant it) and then explaining
he only supported raising the deductible for future Medicare recipients 55 years of age or younger. The overall result of the Paul spin? A frontrunner who sounds like he's on the defensive when it comes to an issue that strikes a core demographic right where their votes come from: their wallets.
Conway seems content to twist the knife. The new ad puts Paul's walkbacks up against footage of the Republican advocating the deductible -- footage captured by the Democrat Conway's tracker.
The TPM Poll Average puts Paul ahead of Conway 47.4-41.9 in the Kentucky Senate race.