Matt Bevin, the Tea Party-backed businessman challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Republican nomination in Kentucky’s 2014 U.S. Senate race, has released a new ad attacking the five-term incumbent for his negative campaigning.
The 30-second ad rips McConnell for describing the passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 — described in the ad as “the Wall Street bailout” — as “the Senate at its finest.”
“After 30 years in Washington, voting for one bailout after another, slinging mud is all Senator McConnell has left,” the ad charges.
Bevin’s ad is a response to the brutal attack ad that McConnell’s campaign released in July, which criticized Bevin’s business record and labeled him “Bailout Bevin.”
The accelerating ad war is a sign of things to come in the Kentucky Senate race, which is expected to be among the most negative — and expensive — races in the country. In addition to the skirmish over who loves government bailouts more, Bevin is also aggressively pushing McConnell to sign on to the right-wing plan to refuse to pass a continuing resolution funding the federal government unless it defunds Obamacare.
Although Bevin remains an extreme longshot to actually win the nomination, a negative primary that pushes McConnell even further to the right could make him even more vulnerable in the general election. According to the latest poll of the race, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes currently holds a narrow lead over the minority leader — and will certainly benefit from the ability to consolidate support while McConnell and Bevin tear each other apart.