McConnell touts commitment to coal in new ad

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is touting his commitment to coal in a new ad that ties his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

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McConnell declares in the ad, “I don’t have to tell you there’s a war on coal in America. And I tell you, I will be the leader of the forces that take on the war on coal.”

He goes on to reference Reid’s now infamous comments, used frequently by Republicans in the race, that “coal makes us sick.”

"Well, I’ll tell you, this kind of representation makes me sick and you sick and needs to be replaced,” he says.

The ad features clips of McConnell interacting with pro-coal voters, and a very prominent shot of a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Grimes pasted between Obama and Reid under the words “coal makes us sick.”

According to WHAS11, the ad is backed by a “nearly” six-figure buy and will run during University of Kentucky and University of Louisville basketball games through the rest of the season.

Both sides have been lobbing coal-focused attacks back and forth, as the coal industry makes up a significant part of Kentucky's economy.

Grimes has questioned McConnell's commitment to defending coal, and argued that Environmental Protection Agency rules impacting the industry go too far, while Republicans tie her to Obama and Reid at every opportunity.

Earlier this week, a pro-McConnell super-PAC released a minute-long radio ad highlighting some of Grimes’s anti-coal donors.

McConnell is also facing a challenge from the right in local businessman Matt Bevin.

Democrats see the Kentucky Senate race as their top pickup opportunity this cycle.