WASHINGTON — A new television ad in Kentucky is targeting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, arguing that the Republican leader should be defeated next November because of his opposition to ObamaCare.
Ditch Mitch, an outside group that’s working to defeat McConnell in 2020, will launch the new ad as part of a five-figure television buy in Lexington and Louisville starting Monday, as well as part of a digital buy running statewide.
The spot, produced by prominent Democratic ad-man Mark Putnam, includes a man and a younger woman introducing audio of McConnell criticizing ObamaCare.
“I think the sooner we can get rid of ObamaCare, the better,” McConnell says in the ad, before the man replies, “The sooner we can get rid of Mitch McConnell, the better. Help us ditch Mitch.”
In a statement announcing the ad, Ditch Mitch Executive Director Ryan Aquilina disclosed that the group had raised $1 million this cycle and pointed to polling from End Citizens United that found McConnell with a 39 percent favorable rating in Kentucky.
“If Mitch McConnell had his way, half a million Kentuckians would lose their healthcare, and 1.8 million Kentuckians with preexisting conditions could again be denied coverage,” Aquilina said.
“This is just the first in a series of ads we have planned, and we’re using Mitch’s own words to spotlight his disturbing record of trying to take away Kentucky families’ healthcare.”
Democrats made messaging on health care the crux of their strategy during the 2018 midterm elections. But while Democrats were able to flip a net of 40 seats last cycle, one of their misses came in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, where Democrat Amy McGrath fell short against GOP Rep. Andy Barr.
McGrath is considering running for Senate against McConnell.
McConnell and his allies have bucked attacks on health care, arguing that he’s the backstop to prevent liberal policies on the issue that they believe would make the problem worse from going into effect.
During an interview last month on Fox News, McConnell chided Democrats over ObamaCare, questioning why they were “not even satisfied with the principle accomplishment, they said, of the Obama years.” And he’s been critical of proposals for single-payer health care that are gaining steam on the left, particularly among the presidential field.
“We’re really happy to have that argument, that debate with the American people in 2020. I can’t wait to engage on the ‘Medicare for None’ proposal,” he said.