And so, the Grimes campaign is going up with its first paid ad attacking McConnell over the leaked audio of him vowing to a Koch brothers donor conference that a GOP Senate won’t allow debate on a minimum wage hike, extension of unemployment benefits, or student loan relief. The ad also hits McConnell over his promise to the donors to use budget procedural tactics to roll back Obama’s agenda, and unleashes a harsh attack on his mendacity:
The ad hits viewers with a blizzard of fact-check headlines (“false…misleading…a whopper”) about previous McConnell claims, and intones:
“He’ll say anything. Now we learn what he said to a secret meeting of billionaires: That he’ll block a higher minimum wage, extension of unemployment benefits, and affordable student loans. And to get his way, he says he’ll shut down the government again. Thirty years is long enough.”
McConnell did say in that donor confab, in a reference to those three issues, that “we’re not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals.” McConnell also vowed to the donors that a GOP majority in both houses would use “riders” in spending bills to “go after” Democratic policies “all across the federal government,” on health care, Wall Street reform, and environmental regulations. McConnell never said directly that he would shut down the government, but his vow does amount to a promise of confrontational brinksmanship to roll back previously achieved policy gains that does make a government shutdown more likely.
I’m told the size of the buy is “significant,” but I was unable to get any more ad buy detail than that.
Kentucky Democrats say her route to victory requires closing the deal with independents and undecided women, two constituencies who might be inclined to cast votes against McConnell’s untrustworthiness and outsized role in rendering Congress profoundly dysfunctional. If McConnell’s strategy is all about tying Grimes to the hated Obama, Grimes’s strategy is all about tying McConnell to the even-more-hated Congress, not to mention Washington in general.
The ad also ties its attack on McConnell as a creature of Washington and tool of special interests to three specific issues — the minimum wage, unemployment benefits, and student loans — that probably play well with those constituencies. Hitting McConnell over secret Koch audio also probably resonates with core Democratic voters, whose turnout will be crucial to Grimes’ chances of victory.