Outside group knocks McConnell over health care in TV ad

A left-leaning outside group on Monday is launching a TV ad knocking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera MORE (R-Ky.) over his efforts to repeal ObamaCare.

The Ditch Mitch Fund, a group focused on trying to unseat McConnell in 2020, is running the five-figure TV ad in Louisville, Ky., and Lexington, Ky., as well as going up with a statewide digital buy in the Bluegrass State.

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The ad includes a man and younger woman playing audio of McConnell's criticism of the Affordable Care Act, the signature health care law from the Obama administration.

"I think the sooner we can get rid of ObamaCare, the better," McConnell is heard saying in the ad, before the man responds that, "the sooner we can get rid of Mitch McConnell, the better."

Democrats seized on health care as a top issue during the 2018 midterms, where they flipped the House, and are planning to focus heavily on the issue heading into the 2020 elections, arguing that Republicans are still trying to dismantle Obama's signature law or overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established the right to an abortion, through the courts.

The group, which says it has raised more than $1 million, pointed to polling from Public Policy Polling, where Kentucky voters ranked lowering health care and prescription drug costs as their top issue.

Ryan Aquilina, the executive director of the Ditch Mitch Fund, said the group was using McConnell's own words to "spotlight his disturbing record" on health care.

"If Mitch McConnell had his way, half a million Kentuckians would lose their health care, and 1.8 million Kentuckians with preexisting conditions could again be denied coverage," he added.

Republicans made a failed effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare during 2017, and Democratic control of the House has put the issue on the back burner. Trump also punted on the issue, saying in tweet that a vote on a GOP health plan would "be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House."

McConnell has turned his focus toward attacking "Medicare for All" proposals, pointing to them as a sign of Democrats shifting to the left ahead of the 2020 election. 

Kevin Golden, McConnell's campaign manager, dismissed the outside group's ad, saying it wouldn't help "earn a single vote."

"I know this group isn’t from Kentucky but it wouldn’t kill them to familiarize themselves with the politics of the state. You have to assume this ad is a hilariously transparent attempt for consultants to raise money from coastal liberals because it sure as heck isn’t going to earn a single vote in Kentucky," Golden told NBC News.