Politics & Policy

Another Odd Attack Ad from Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has an odd way of responding to attacks: she re-states the charge, repeatedly, ensuring that viewers get it down pat.

The latest example comes as her team tries to contradict the claim that she supports amnesty. Instead of issuing an ad that describes her position in the terms she favors most, they opted for a more negative approach.

“Mitch McConnell’s billionaire buddies are attacking Alison for . . .” At this point, the ad, first reported by Talking Points Memo, segues into clips of Republicans such as South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham saying that the Gang of Eight bill wasn’t amnesty. The ad also shows a clip of Arizona Senator John McCain making the same point. 

“Mitch will say anything,” viewers learn, before seeing quotes from the Washington Post fact-checker disputing the attacks on Grimes.

Given that Grimes is concerned about looking like too much of a liberal, maybe she should have chosen a McCain clip that didn’t feature him standing next to Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). 

Also, how did she go from responding to “billionaire buddies” to “Mitch will say anything” — it wasn’t McConnell, it was a third-party group affiliated with Karl Rove, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition.

Rove didn’t have anything to do with the KOC ad, but the fact that his Crossroads GPS ran ads supporting the Senate Gang of Eight bill (as Grimes’ preferred fact-checker noted) underscores the fact that the political class and billionaire business interests tend to support such legislation. Most voters aren’t billionaires, though, which explains why Grimes is trying to claim the populist mantle.

It doesn’t explain why she used politicians who are not trusted by anti-amnesty voters as her shield, or why she spent 30 seconds of ad time effectively repeating the attack leveled against her.

You’d think Grimes’ campaign would have learned not to do that after the “I’m not Barack Obama” ad backfired.


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