FRANKFORT, Ky. - U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is expected to get an early start on a re-election campaign by airing his first TV and radio ad on Thursday.
McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton confirmed the ad buys on Tuesday.
It isn't the Senate Republican Leader who comes out swinging in the ad. It's his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who takes political opponents to task for mocking her ethnicity.
The ad is the McConnell campaign's response to what he calls a liberal group's "racial slurs'' against
Chao and to recent TV spots that criticized McConnell for his pro-gun position.
McConnell has a hefty campaign bank account, having already raised more than $10 million. In his last financial disclosure, he reported having $7.4 million on hand.
Democrats moved quickly to try to paint McConnell's early entry into an advertising campaign as a sign that he's worried about potential challengers, including actress Ashley Judd.
Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon charged that beginning an ad campaign so early "is an unprecedented admission of fear.''