Pro-McConnell group touts his work on coal

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a Republican group supporting Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reelection fight, is airing a new radio ad touting McConnell’s record on coal.

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The ad is the group’s latest in a $1.8 million campaign launched last week meant to highlight McConnell’s work in the Senate on a variety of issues. It opens with a clip of President Obama introducing his Climate Action Plan, which he said “will lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.”

“It’s a coordinated assault on our coal communities,” a narrator says in the ad.

The ad goes on to outline what Republicans see as the negative impacts of Obama’s policies on the coal industry, including a reference to the budget he unveiled earlier this month that would cut tax breaks for fossil fuels.

But while Obama’s “not giving up … McConnell isn’t giving up either,” the narrator adds, pointing to McConnell’s work against a cap-and-trade bill in the Senate and a bill he introduced, the “Saving Coal Jobs Act,” as evidence of his efforts to protect the coal industry.

McConnell is seen by Democrats as one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents this year. He is likely to face Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election this fall, if he makes it past a primary challenge from businessman Matt Bevin as expected.

While polling has shown him to be deeply unpopular, Republicans believe President Obama’s unpopularity and opposition to his policies in Kentucky, will help McConnell win reelection.

In particular, they’ve focused on the president's climate policies, as the coal industry is a major part of Kentucky’s economy. While some of McConnell's allies have tied Grimes to Obama and hammered her on the coal issue, Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is working to highlight McConnell's work for the state on a number of issues.

The group's first ad in the race touted his efforts to help veterans in Kentucky.