Grimes campaign hits Obama on coal

Kentucky Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes is launching a new offensive touting her support for the coal industry, but her target isn’t GOP opponent Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.)

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Grimes is hitting President Obama with a six-figure, multimedia campaign that launched this week with ads placed in newspapers in the state’s top coal-producing regions.

“President Obama and Washington don’t get it ... Alison Grimes does,” the ad declares.

"As Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator, I will work across the aisle with Republicans and Democrats to save coal jobs and fiercely oppose anyone who works against Kentucky’s coal industry,” Grimes declares. “Stand with me.”

The campaign launched the same day the Obama administration proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rules to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, a move that’s expected to significantly impact the coal industry and the economies of heavy coal-producing states like Kentucky.

The EPA rule is another political problem for vulnerable Democrats, with Republican critics charging that it will cost jobs and raise energy prices for consumers.

Grimes faces a climb to topple McConnell in Republican-leaning Kentucky this fall, and the ad blitz is her latest effort to distance herself from a president who is deeply unpopular in the state.

McConnell’s campaign seized on the rule’s announcement to attack Grimes for what many Republicans call Obama’s “war on coal,” a centerpiece of the Senate minority leader's campaign against Grimes.

“Alison Lundergan Grimes was recruited by President Obama, who said he would ‘bankrupt’ the coal industry, and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.], who said ‘coal makes us sick,’” said Allison Moore, McConnell’s spokeswoman, in a statement.

“[S]he is being funded by liberals nationwide who know that a vote for her is a vote to ensure further implementation of their anti-coal agenda in the U.S. Senate,” she added.

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