Sen. Bayh calls Manchin gun ad 'the best commercial I've seen'

Centrist Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) is a big fan of a Democrat's controversial political ad that literally takes aim at cap-and-trade energy legislation. 

The retiring senator on Friday praised the television spot released by the campaign of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, who is running for the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) The ad shows Manchin using a rifle to shoot a hole through a what is supposed to be a copy of the bill.

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"The best commercial I've seen was the governor of West Virginia using a rifle to shoot the cap-and-trade bill," he said during an appearance on CNBC. 

Manchin, who is locked in a tough contest with Republican John Raese, cut the ad in an effort to distance himself from Washington Democrats.

The ad has frustrated Democratic leaders: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said this week that he's not "wild about" it.

Pressed on how the ad could help a Democrat, Bayh, a skeptic of cap-and-trade who hails from a Republican-leaning state, said it the ad helps Manchin with West Virginia voters who are largely opposed to the legislation.

"But he's having to do that to differentiate himself in West Virginia," he said. 

Bayh suggested that Democratic legislative items such as healthcare reform, financial regulatory reform and cap-and-trade are not helping members of his party at the polls, but said that President Obama knew he would have to pay a political price for bringing them up.

"I think he did what he genuinely thought was right and he was willing to pay a political price for that," he said. "And now the price is being paid."

As for what the Democrats could have done better during Obama's first two years in office, Bayh said that they could have dealt with "energy independence" before healthcare reform.

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