In arguably the country’s most closely watched Senate race, Kentucky candidates Sen. Mitch McConnell and Alison Lungergan Grimes are getting supporters riled up as they take aim at each other in campaign ads.
On Monday, Grimes, a Democrat, released a video in which she fires a gun, says she disagrees with President Barack Obama’s views on firearms, and criticizes her challenger for his misuse in holding an antique rifle during his entrance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March.
Her Republican opponent, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, responded on Tuesday with his own attack ad. His team continues to depict Grimes as a staunch Obama supporter trying to destroy the coal industry. The president’s low approval ratings in Kentucky continuously hover near 30%.
In the 30-second spot, the GOP candidate says Grimes repeatedly supported Obama’s policies by voting for his health care plan, the war on coal, his foreign policy, and gun control.
“Alison Grimes thinks shooting a gun will convince you she’s not like Barack Obama,” the narrator says in the video, titled “Convince.” “Oh, and you know who also did a publicity stunt firing a gun? Barack Obama.” McConnell uses footage from Grimes’ ad throughout most of the duration of his video, but also includes a composite image of her and the president separately firing guns.
Grimes’ campaign responded to the ad, calling it McConnell’s “latest desperate lie.”
“In a sign of weakness, Mitch McConnell’s campaign scurried to respond directly to our latest strong ad underscoring just how worried Mitch McConnell is seven weeks from Election Day. This dishonest attack shows how little respect McConnell has for the voters of Kentucky,” Grimes’ campaign manager Jonathan Hurst wrote in a statement.
“He’s throwing the entire kitchen sink at our campaign in one shallow ad, desperately hoping that Kentuckians will forget Alison is independent and has always put Kentucky first on coal, guns, and the over burdensome EPA regulations,” he added.
In a poll published earlier this month, McConnell took the lead from Grimes by eight points, after weeks of results that showed an essentially deadlocked race between the two candidates.
Grimes is Kentucky’s secretary of state – and the youngest woman currently serving as secretary of state in the country. The two politicians will face off during the state’s midterm election on Nov. 4.
Grimes’ campaign released the ad as Congress remains in a stalemate over tougher gun restrictions, more than a year after the Senate failed to pass a bipartisan background checks bill. The November midterms will be the first election cycle since 26 people were killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.