In it, but not of it. TPM DC

McConnell Hits Democratic Opponent Over Obamacare After Conservatives Tie Him To It

Mcconnell
AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

The ad is shaped as a counterpunch to Grimes and conservatives like Republican Matt Bevin, who is challenging McConnell in the Senate primary, and the Senate Conservatives Fund which has released numerous ads attacking McConnell on Obamacare. The Senate Conservatives Fund, founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), argued that McConnell does not sufficiently support defunding Obamacare. The group wants McConnell to join an effort to only support budget resolutions if the health care law is defunded.

Both Bevin's campaign and the Senate Conservatives Fund shrugged off McConnell's new ad on Monday.

"Mitch McConnell is misleading voters by falsely claiming that he is doing all he can to stop Obamacare," Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand said in an email to TPM. "In reality, McConnell has already surrendered to President Obama on this issue, and has been actively working to stop other Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee who are fighting to ensure Obamacare does not go into effect on October 1 by defunding it. Like Alison Grimes, McConnell claims there are some things in the law he likes. The only candidate in the race who is actually in favor of getting rid of Obamcare root and branch is Matt Bevin."

Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said McConnell's support for the Fiscal Year 2013 continuing resolution showed that McConnell's opposition to Obamacare is less than perfect.

"What the ad conveniently leaves out is the fact that Mitch McConnell also voted to fund Obamacare," Hoskins told TPM in a separate email on Monday. "He can't vote to fund Obamacare and then say he opposes it. That's Washington double talk."

Hoskins said McConnell could prove strong opposition to the health care law by opposing the next continuing resolution if it funds Obamacare.

"He voted for the FY2013 CR that included funding for Obamacare," Hoskins continued. "He says one thing, but then does another. If he really opposed funding for Obamacare he would pledge to oppose the FY2014 CR if it funds Obamacare."

McConnell faces a primary vote on May 20 of next year.

Watch the new McConnell ad below:

About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.