Washington (CNN) – With just six weeks remaining until the Kentucky Senatorial primary, the two front-runners for the Republican nomination are locked in a war of words over the most sensitive of topics: 9/11.
Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson released an ad over the weekend in which the narrator accuses opponent Rand Paul, a physician and son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, of dodging debates in order to hide "his strange ideas."
The ad hits Paul over his opposition to the Patriot Act, before switching topics to 9/11.
"Paul even wonders whether 9/11 was our [America's] fault," the narrator says.
The ad then shows a clip of Paul discussing foreign policy in 2009. "Maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries," Paul says.
A companion Web video posted online features imagery that harkens back to the 2008 Presidential campaign.
The 90-second video attempts to link Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rand Paul by showing clips of the two separately discussing 9/11 that alternate at high speed.
The Paul campaign responded Tuesday with its own ad, in which Paul calls Grayson's ad a below-the-belt blow.
"[A] desperate Trey Grayson is using September 11th to attack my integrity and my patriotism. Trey Grayson, your shameful TV ad is a lie, and it dishonors you," Paul says in the ad.
Grayson and Paul are running to succeed fellow Republican Jim Bunning, who is not making a bid for re-election this year. Jack Conway, Kentucky's attorney general, and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo are the leading contenders for the Democratic senate nomination.