McConnell campaign touts support for sick workers in new ad

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reelection campaign is out with a new ad that features a sick Kentuckian touting the senator’s work to help him get treatment.

In the minute-long ad, Robert Pierce, a Paducah energy worker and throat cancer survivor, speaks in just a whisper to viewers about McConnell’s work on his behalf. It's an update, his Democratic opponent pointed out Wednesday, of an ad on the same power plant McConnell ran during his 2008 campaign.

“These days, I don’t have much of a voice. But I and so many Kentuckians have been helped by someone with a strong voice: Mitch McConnell,” he says.

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Pierce outlines the help he received from McConnell to get treatment after working at a local energy plant exposed him to radiation. He says that “I know first-hand [McConnell] cares.”

“Mitch gets results for Kentucky that no one else can. That’s why I’d like to raise my voice. Because we’re represented by a man that fought hard for us, and always will,” he says at the end.

The campaign is spending six figures, according to a release, to air both 30-second and one-minute versions across the state in the campaign’s largest ad buy yet.

The spot is an attempt to humanize McConnell and push back on claims from his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, that he doesn’t care about Kentucky. His primary opponent, businessman Matt Bevin, often makes that same charge on the campaign trail.

McConnell helped secure funding for cancer screenings and compensation for those injured during their time working at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

And it also lets McConnell tout his work on healthcare issues, even as Kentucky remains one of the few red states where ObamaCare has been fully implemented.

Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has touted the law’s success in his state, but it remains largely unpopular nationwide.

But Lundergan Grimes's campaign points out that the new ad is a revamped version of a 2008 ad that also touted McConnell's work for the energy plant. Spokeswoman Charly Norton called it an "old, dishonest play."

"It is no surprise Mitch McConnell has to recycle old TV ads given that he offers no new ideas. It is insulting to Kentuckians for McConnell to haul out this old, dishonest play every six years when he's on the ballot," she said.

"The contrast couldn't be clearer: Mitch McConnell will continue to run from his failed 30-year Washington record, while Alison Lundergan Grimes will bring a fresh approach and stand up for all Kentucky workers."

—This piece was updated at 3 p.m.

Watch the ad: