Alison Grimes Hits McConnell For Shutdown Threat In Dark New Ad

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In a dark new web ad, Alison Lundergan Grimes hits Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for signaling confrontation that could spark a government shutdown if he becomes majority leader.

The spot — published Monday on the Democrat’s YouTube page — plays news clips, spliced with ominous music, about the economically damaging shutdown last fall which one anchor is seen saying it was “hurting Kentuckians.”

“And Mitch McConnell wants to do it again,” the ad says, displaying headlines of McConnell’s recent remarks to Politico in which he vowed to use bills which keep the government operational as a vehicle to rein in President Barack Obama’s policies.

A Grimes spokesperson said it was a “web ad” that the campaign was spending “thousands” of dollars on as part of a week-long effort to hit McConnell on the issue.

The McConnell campaign quickly pushed back.

“Evidently Alison Lundergan Grimes’ interpretation of how the U.S. Senate works is that Senators must rubber stamp President Obama’s agenda or the government shuts down,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore told TPM in an email. “Unlike Grimes’ commitment to the Obama agenda, Senator McConnell will fight for Kentucky priorities whether the President is interested in them or not.”

In the interview last week, McConnell said, “We’re going to pass spending bills, and they’re going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy. That’s something [Obama] won’t like, but that will be done. I guarantee it.” He said the president “needs to be challenged, and the best way to do that is through the funding process.”

Last fall the GOP’s attempts to attach unrelated policy provisions to a must-pass spending bill — namely, a “rider” to defund Obamacare — culminated in the 16-day shutdown of many federal programs. Ironically it was McConnell who eventually stepped in and cut a deal with Democrats to re-open the government.

Conservatives remain hungry for confrontation with Obama. McConnell’s comments appear to have been an attempt to mobilize the Republican base in his home state and across the country ahead of the midterm elections.

The Kentucky Senate race is close. McConnell is ahead of Grimes by 3.4 percentage points, according to the TPM PollTracker average.

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Notable Replies

  1. Poor visuals, bad sound, but right message. Overall a pretty sucky ad. The message gets lost in the blinking visuals and loud music.

  2. The good news for Grimes: The 5-term incumbent she’s facing is at 43.0 percent, according to Polltracker. I hope her strategy of centrist-but-not-afraid-to-hit-hard-at-McConnell works to keep the undecideds from going his way.

    I worry that the campaign of the female centrist Dem southern dynasty candidate in my state (Georgia) is too damned polite.

  3. Avatar for cpinva cpinva says:

    I hope the republicans in congress are just stupid enough to pull the same stunt next month. it will be close enough to the election, that even our traditionally short memoried citizens will remember.

    so yeah, go for it sen. McConnell.

  4. This one is okay but it’s not nearly as good as the ads with her and a constituent sitting on the side of the road in front of an old gas station asking McConnell questions about comments he’s made. Those ads are brilliant. But for some reason she’s lost her lead and is now a bit behind. I really don’t know why.

  5. Avatar for jw1 jw1 says:

    But then this is-- from my read-- a web-based ad.
    Not necessarily for broadcast-- so I’m OK with the production deficiencies–
    as long as she’s banging the drum every day-- some way, somehow.

    It’s almost Labor Day. It’s almost time.


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