Enter former President Bill Clinton into the 2014 campaign advertisements.
Clinton made his debut in the most recent televised spot by Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat running against Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s Senate race. The match-up is arguably the country’s most closely watched in this election cycle.
In the 30-second spot that began airing statewide on Thursday, Clinton highlights Grimes’ beliefs in creating new jobs and providing chances to middle-class families.
“Nobody can tell me it’s not a senator’s job to create jobs,” he says in the video. “I choose Alison because she will work with people in both parties to do what’s right for you.”
Although he doesn’t proclaim it directly, Clinton alludes to a comment McConnell made earlier this year about it not being his responsibility to bring jobs to Kentucky. “Economic development is a Frankfort issue,” McConnell reportedly told the Beattyville Enterprise in April. “That is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet.”
Clinton carried the Bluegrass State twice in his presidential campaigns. Unlike President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings in Kentucky continuously hover near 30%, Clinton remains popular among residents in the mostly conservative state.
Grimes, who is currently the Kentucky secretary of state and the youngest woman to fill that role in the country, last month released a campaign video in which she shot a gun and said she disagreed with Obama’s view on firearms. A day later, McConnell responded with an attack ad, depicting Grimes as a staunch Obama supporter trying to destroy the coal industry.
McConnell took the lead from Grimes by eight points in a poll last month, after weeks of results that showed an essentially deadlocked race between the two Senate candidates. A Grimes internal poll from this week shows the Democrat leading the incumbent by two points.
The two candidates will face off in the midterm elections on Nov 4.