McConnell hits Bevin on cockfighting in new ad

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is hitting his primary challenger, Matt Bevin, for his appearance at a cockfighting rally earlier this month in a new radio ad.

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Bevin’s campaign, when asked about his appearance at the rally, said the candidate didn’t know it was in support of cockfighting and thought it was simply a states’ rights rally.

“Matt Bevin keeps making national headlines…but not in a good way,” a narrator says in the ad.

It then features a clip of comedian Stephen Colbert’s nightly Comedy Central show lampooning Bevin, and another clip of Bevin himself trying to explain his appearance by suggesting that cockfighting was something the Founding Fathers were “very actively involved with…and always have been.”

The ad goes on to tie the cockfighting appearance to news that a company Bevin owns received state grants to rebuild after it was destroyed in a fire, which McConnell’s campaign has said was a hypocritical acceptance of a “bailout” despite Bevin’s opposition to the financial bailout. And it also highlights Bevin’s claimed educational ties to MIT, which The Hill reported were exaggerated.

“Matt Bevin – a comedy of errors.  But don’t let the joke be on you,” the ad closes.

Bevin hasn’t managed to pick up much traction in the primary and still lags McConnell by double digits in most polls of the race, but the new ad is an indication McConnell’s campaign feels the senator isn’t out of the woods yet.

His focus on his primary challenge, however, has sapped resources and time that he could’ve otherwise directed at his Democratic challenger, Kentucky secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. A new survey out Wednesday showed the two statistically tied in the race.