Government Shutdown At The Center Of New Senate Campaign Ads

Oct 29, 2013

Sen. Mitch McConnell, leading Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, and the Senate Conservatives Fund have all released videos this week.

Credit CN2

Though all focus on McConnell's role in the negotiations, the ads paint starkly different pictures of the deal that ended the government shutdown. In the two-minute McConnell ad, the Republican leader is portrayed as a steady hand in times of crisis.

The spot includes a news clip of Sen. Orrin Hatch saying, "McConnell is a terrific leader. There's nobody who has been any better than McConnell," followed by commentator Lou Dobbs asking, "Where would have happened here if he hadn't been there?"

But where McConnell sees a victory for good governance, the Senate Conservatives Fund, which endorsed McConnell’s Tea Party opponent Matt Bevin, sees capitulation.

"Conservatives asked Mitch McConnell to lead the fight against Obamacare. He didn't listen. Instead he helped Barack Obama and Harry Reid fund Obamacare," the ad says.

The Senate Conservatives will run on statewide TV from October 30 through November 12.

Meanwhile, Democratic hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes’s campaign opted for an emphasis on imagery in a 30-second web ad that begins with a small fire that quickly grows out of control.

"Mitch McConnell can't light the house on fire and then claim credit for putting it out, especially while the house is still burning," the narrator says, as the house is engulfed in flames.

The ads illustrate the deep divisions over tactics, policy, and the role of government that are likely to surface again early next year when the country will face yet another debt limit deadline.