Two conservative groups are rushing to the rescue of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE’s (R-Ky.) primary challenger, Matt Bevin.
The groups are hitting McConnell with two new ads, one on the radio and one online, that touch on a range of issues toxic to the right.
The radio ad, from the Senate Conservatives Fund, criticizes McConnell's procedural vote to move a debt ceiling hike forward, and his work with Vice President Biden on the "fiscal cliff" deal that included a tax hike on higher income households.
The Madison Project's nearly two-minute online ad juxtaposes clips of McConnell talking about fiscal responsibility and government spending on the Senate floor and at press conferences with on-screen text outlining his votes to raise the debt limit.
Both groups have endorsed Bevin.
The support from the right comes as Bevin has endured a rough couple of weeks in the race.
Questions over a report praising the financial bailout that he signed while president of an investment fund have dogged Bevin for most of February, bringing him negative coverage on conservative news sites and fueling attacks from McConnell’s campaign that Bevin has exhibited at best hypocrisy and at worst a “history of deceptions.”
Bevin has attacked McConnell for supporting, and helping to pass, the bailout — and the report seems to undermine that attack.
Bevin’s explanation for the report, which shifted multiple times, was widely panned, and two surveys out over the past month have shown him struggling to gain traction against McConnell, and underwater in terms of his popularity.
But the two conservative groups are pledging to stay by him and are now working to refocus the race on McConnell.
The minute-long radio ad from the Senate Conservatives Fund is punctuated with piercing whistle notes after the narrator lays out each apparent misdeed of McConnell’s, an addition certain to make the ad hard for listeners to forget.
“Someone needs to blow the whistle on Mitch McConnell. After 30 years in Washington, McConnell is shamelessly attacking conservative Matt Bevin. Truth is, it was Mitch McConnell who voted for the bank bailout,” a narrator says in the ad.
It goes on to outline his votes to raise the debt limit, says he “worked with Joe Biden to pass a $600 billion 'fiscal-cliff' tax hike” and notes he opposed the conservative strategy to defund ObamaCare that ultimately led to the government shutdown.
Conservatives believe McConnell is the most vulnerable he's ever been to a primary challenge because of persistently low approval ratings in his state, but most observers expect him to emerge victorious from the primary. His expected challenger in the general election, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, is considered a greater threat.