Sen. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE’s (R-Ky.) primary challenger, Matt Bevin, is seeking to turn ObamaCare into a liability for the senator in a new radio ad launched Tuesday.
The minute-long ad, which is running statewide in Kentucky for two weeks, charges that the Senate Republican leader is trying to fix the healthcare law, rather than repeal it.
He adds: “I disagree. ObamaCare needs to be repealed entirely.”
Bevin goes on to name-check Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a conservative star who gained national prominence after leading the strategy to defund ObamaCare ahead of the government shutdown last fall. McConnell helped broker the deal to end the shutdown.
“This craziness has got to end. We need to repeal ObamaCare now,” Bevin says at the end of the ad.
And he characterizes himself as “the conservative Republican for U.S. Senate.”
McConnell has taken fire from conservatives for months because of what they consider his insufficient opposition to ObamaCare. They cite in particular his refusal to sign on to Cruz’s strategy to defund the law.
One national conservative group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, has hit McConnell with multiple ads focused on the healthcare law.
But McConnell’s supporters point to his outspoken opposition to the law. During a recent stop back in Kentucky, McConnell outlined his plan to "pull it out root and branch and start over" if Republicans take back the Senate this fall.
Still, the ObamaCare issue is a potent one for conservatives, especially in a state where polling recently showed nearly 50 percent of registered voters believe the law should be repealed, including two-thirds of conservatives.
McConnell is favored in the primary, however, and expected to face Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general.