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Mitch McConnell ad seizes on secret audio

April 18, 2013

Politico
James Hohmann

Mitch McConnell continues to seize on the bungled taping of his Louisville campaign headquarters.

The Senate Minority Leader will go on the air Thursday with a new commercial that links last week’s brouhaha to the Democratic president’s desire to oust him.

“Mitch McConnell is Obama’s No. 1 target because Mitch protects Kentucky from Obama’s bad ideas,” a female narrator says in the 30-second spot, shared first with POLITICO. “Liberals will do anything to beat McConnell.”

The campaign says the buy is “well into the six-figures” on broadcast and cable.

Unlike Mitt Romney’s halting response to a Mother Jones scoop last fall revealing the “47 percent” video, McConnell immediately went on offense. His campaign flipped the recording of him and his aides talking about how actress Ashley Judd might be attacked — including for past bouts with depression — into a process story about an FBI investigation into criminal wrongdoing.

National Democrats had to distance themselves from the tape and were hamstrung in their efforts to criticize McConnell for the audio’s content.

A Democratic activist subsequently accused a former leader of the Progress Kentucky super PAC. The person accused of taping the Feb. 2 strategy session started a legal defense fund on Monday.

This is the senator’s second ad. The first highlighted a tweet posted by Progress Kentucky that highlighted the Chinese heritage of his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

This new spot mentions that the group “also launched racial attacks against Mitch’s wife.”

“And now liberals compare Mitch to al Qaeda terrorists and North Korea’s dictator,” the narrator says, a reference to an attack spot from Americans United for Change released last Friday. “How dirty will Obama’s allies get?”

It’s rare for an incumbent to go on television more than 18 months before the election, especially without a declared opponent. Polls show McConnell vulnerable, but Obama remains deeply unpopular in the Bluegrass State.

McConnell raised $1.8 million during the first quarter and has $8.6 million cash on hand.

Read the full article here: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/mcconnell-ad-seizes-on-secret-audio-90253.html#ixzz2Qp1sDBXj