Veterans group hits McConnell in new ad

VoteVets Action Fund is out with a new ad attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his role in blocking legislation earlier this year that would have expanded medical benefits and education programs for the nation’s veterans.

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The 30-second spot features Vietnam veteran Charles Erwin from Mayfield, Ky., who suffers from multiple ailments due to exposure to Agent Orange, walking toward the camera.

His cane clicks with each step he takes, prompting text to pop up beside him: “He was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Now … Diabetes.  A stroke.  Heart disease. Cancer. He depends on a veterans hospital for care. In a time of crisis: Mitch McConnell blocked $21 billion for veterans.”

“Senator McConnell ... I did my duty. But after 30 years in Washington ... you’ve failed to do yours,” Erwin says at the end of the ad. “It’s time for you to go.”

In February, Senate Republicans successfully blocked a $21 billion measure that would have, among other things, expanded veterans' healthcare programs and provided advanced appropriations for the Veterans Affairs Department. 

The GOP raised concerns about the bill’s price tag and how it would be paid for before blocking it.

The new ad campaign launched statewide on Tuesday on broadcast and cable channels and will cost $300,000 over five days, according to VoteVets, though they are already planning on an extension of the buy. 

McConnell's campaign slammed the new ad, saying that VoteVets was "cherry-picking one step in the process" and noting that he voted in favor of a $16.3 billion VA overhaul that passed the Senate in July.

"Of course a liberal Obama advocacy group that specializes in misleading ads has descended into Kentucky on behalf of Alison Lundergan Grimes," campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement, referring to McConnell's opponent.

"The reality is that this group is funded by environmental activists with a political agenda that is decisively anti-Kentucky and has absolutely nothing to do with Senator McConnell's unparalleled record of support for Kentucky veterans," she said.

This post was updated at 4:30 p.m.