Sen. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellAACR’s march on Washington Poll: Dems have enthusiasm edge for 2018 The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE’s (R-Ky.) primary challenger, businessman Matt Bevin, is working to make sure McConnell is forever linked with the wrong team in the state’s bitter basketball rivalry with Duke University.
It’s a reference to a McConnell campaign video launched earlier this week that mistakenly featured a shot of Duke’s 2010 championship team celebrating their win — a grave error in the Bluegrass State, where Duke has a longstanding rivalry with the University of Kentucky.
When alerted to the mistake, McConnell’s campaign said it was “horrified” by it and reworked the video to feature a clip of a Kentucky player, but it ultimately pulled the video offline altogether over concerns the campaign could be violating NCAA rules.
The situation drew coverage from local and national press and even landed a spot on ESPN. Both Bevin and expected Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes hammered McConnell for the mistake, and Bevin’s new ad indicates he won't let the issue fade away.
“March Madness in Kentucky: Commitment, courage — you gotta love it,” Bevin says in the ad, adding, “even if your team is already out of the tournament,” as the Duke-decked McConnell appears on the screen.
Duke was upset in the opening round of the tournament.
Bevin goes on to pledge to “fight Obama’s liberal policies,” and knocks McConnell for voting to “fund ObamaCare” and “cav[ing] on the debt ceiling.”
In response, McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman, Allison Moore, knocked Bevin as misleading, referencing reports that he exaggerated his educational credentials.
"Given Bailout Bevin's undying commitment to a fictional account of himself and Senator McConnell, we actually expected this ad to be about the time he won a national championship back in the '80s as a point guard for the MIT Engineers. Matt 'Bailout' Bevin is not who he says he is, and he's certainly not a Kentucky conservative,” she said.