In 2013, television ad wars underway for 2014 elections
February 25th, 2013
11:32 AM ET
5 years ago

In 2013, television ad wars underway for 2014 elections

(CNN) - The current political fight over gun control is front and center right now in next year's re-election campaign for the top Republican in the U.S. Senate.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says it went up Monday with a new ad that criticizes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky over his opposition to some gun control efforts in the wake December's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. And McConnell's re-election campaign is pushing back against the spot.

The liberal group says they'll spend $25,000 to run the commercial in several Kentucky TV markets and in the nation's capital, for one week. The ad highlights a Kentucky resident who introduces himself as a Vietnam War vet and hunter.

"I support the plan to ban assault weapons and keep 'em out of the wrong hands," says Gary Nutt of Cub Run, Kentucky. "Because I know these guns. I know what they can do. The NRA and the gun manufacturers have given a ton of money to Senator Mitch McConnell."

"And now he's blocking reform. Senator, whose side are you on?" says Nutt at the end of the spot.

The PCCC went up with another ad against McConnell earlier this month and says it has now spent a combined $100,000 on their campaign against the senator.

McConnell, who's running next year for a sixth term in the Senate, has criticized President Barack Obama and some Senate Democrats for their stance on gun control as he's reached out so far this year to supporters in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood also went up with an ad over the weekend that's critical of McConnell's stance on birth control, spotlighting his joining with 10 other GOP lawmakers to support a lawsuit by a company that seeks to avoid mandatory health coverage of birth control pills in its employee health coverage.

Planned Parenthood has not said how much money they're spending to run the ad in Kentucky.

McConnell re-election campaign manager Jesse Benton is pushing back against both groups.

"Senator McConnell is committed to protecting the Constitutional Rights of every single Kentuckian. Far-left George Soros funded groups are dead-set on eroding our rights and have put a big target on his back, but they will not weaken Leader McConnell's commitment to principle," Benton told CNN.

Soros has either personally–or through his foundation–contributed to both organizations.

While the 2014 election is still a long way away, the clock is starting to tick, and as of now no Democrat has announced a bid to challenge McConnell, although actress Ashley Judd is considering a run. Judd's family dates back generations in Kentucky. She spent much of her childhood in the state and graduated from the University of Kentucky. But she's lived in Tennessee for years and represented Kentucky's neighboring state when she attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

McConnell's campaign last week went up with an online ad that highlights the fact that Judd doesn't live in Kentucky.

- CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon contributed to this story.

Filed under: Ads • Kentucky • Mitch McConnell • Senate
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Hey McConnell ya better look over your shoulder because Ms Judd is taking notes and come midterms your career is toast,Kentucky doesn't want or need you anymore!!!

    February 25, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. rs

    It is true. Cowardly Republicans would rather make teachers face an armed nut with an AR-15 that do common sense gun law reform against the wishes of the crazy lobbyists of the NRA.

    February 25, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. much thunder.little rain

    ugh ..both sides need to take a break....americans are sick to death of these ads...

    February 25, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Marie MD

    That should read KY. These iPads are a pain at times.

    February 25, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. HenryMiller

    Who's side is McConnel on? He's on the side of the 99.9999 percent of100 million gun owners who've never shot anyone and see no reason to accept the blame for what the crazy .0001 percent do.

    February 25, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. rs

    Yes, Henry- but gun owners are a minority in America. Most Americans (like 70%) want complete background checks, not special priviledges for the armed few.

    February 25, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    McConnel is toast roast and so is a lot of his GOPT friends.

    February 25, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Thomas

    We need more guns and less teachers , cut education not defense !

    Rick Perry / Louie Gohmert

    Remember the Alamo 2016

    February 25, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Bill

    It's over for this obstructionist buffoon. Pinnochio could run against him and win. Goodbye Mitch.

    February 25, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. n222s

    Yes, please run pro-gun control ads in Kentucky. That is, if you want to re-elect McConnell. Have any of you yokels on either coast or in the cities of Kentucky ever spoken to someone in rural Kentucky? As they say there, that dog won't hunt. Yeah, you supposedly don't need an AR-15 to hunt. Or, as the more parochial D.C. denizens believe, you don't need 30 bullets to kill a deer.

    But the more politically astute senators absolutely understand that this recent push for gun control will not play well for the vulnerable Dem members in fly-over states. Ask yourself, why haven't gun control bills progressed further in the Senate? You can blame the NRA but the people who voted for Obama in 100% numbers in NYC, Cleveland, Philadelphia, etc. won't be voting in states like Kentucky. Without Obama to vote for, many of them will stay home. Just as they did in 2010.

    February 25, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. The REAL Truth...

    Yes, Henry – he's on your side. The WRONG side. The unpopular, fear driven red-state side. The side that refuses to discuss anything because of fear. Fear of losing, fear of being wrong, fear of giving up something they do not need, fear of so-called tyranny by the govt (like your pop-guns are going to stop you being taken out in a wooden box), fear of fear. Fear, Fear, Fear. It's the Repulikant/NRA propaganda machine working on the clueless.

    A 21-gauge single shot is far more effective at taking out an intruder than an AR-15. We have no need for them in the hands of the general public. McConnell is going to have his hands full is Ashley decides to run for his spot. The RW is so scared of her they are already running denigrating ads and she hasn't even decided to run yet! Did I mention FEAR !!

    February 25, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The problem in Washington is not so much the non-progressive mentality of the right or their deliberate reluctance and refusal to work towards bi-partisan leadership for the good of the Union. The problem is the ignorant, arrogant, bigoted complacent right wing base that keeps empowering these politicians even when these politicians come out in the open and say directly, we don't care about you and your family because you're a 47%er. Until the conservative base changes its mindset, we'll continue to have gridlock in government.

    February 25, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Scott

    Call it what it really is. Not gun control but people control...

    February 25, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. n222s

    Real Truth, here is some other truth as well. Both sides use fear. Who is saying we will experience financial collapse if we try to cut 44 billion for the budget for the rest of 2013 (because the fiscal year is half over, the sequester won't be fully felt till 2014). And while people re-adjust their budgets over gas price increases Washington can't do without 2.5% less. No fear mongering there at all.

    And the war on women wasn't about peddling fear. Goodness no! Vote for Romney and he'll take away contraceptives. Well, actually just stop church orgs from paying for them by proxy through insurance but...he hates women. No use of fear there!

    As for needs. First of all, a single shot from a single shotgun will probably stop a single intruder. But should there be another, a one pull, one shot AR-15 is more effective. I'm sure, however, you know what is best for me. You always do. And single intruders, when hit with a glancing blow by a shotgun, are never driven by adrenaline to finish their evil work. Nope, just a few pellets will bring down any person. You wouldn't need more than one shot of any kind to stop a rapist with a knife. And if so, perhaps the bad guy will sit and wait for a strongly worded letter.

    February 25, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Voter

    Defenders of the Second Amendment will win in the end. They always do. The scared little liberals whine but can't defeat the truth.

    February 25, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. n222s

    Count Blah (extra points if you know the reference)

    Did you ever wonder who profits if the 47% are forced to rely upon the government? If you've ever been to, say, the south side of Chicago or 99% of Detroit you see they keep electing progressives and where has it gotten them?

    As Jack Kemp said (paraphrasing) – Progressives look at people with govt help saying look how many we have helped. Conservatives want to be successful in saying look how many people no longer need our help.

    THAT is the fundamental difference.

    February 25, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Marcia

    the truth is we are tired of death-of being shot at because we have left our homes-we are tired of children being killed in this country -we kill each other more than10,000 times a year-that is a lot of death and it is not hunting even though we are killing so many Americans it is like we are hunting and killing humans

    February 25, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. lolo

    McConnell is only for protecting white rights. He is still living and breathing in the fifties. This man is as racist as they come. I hope and pray that there are enough sane people in Kentucky to vote this old coot out. He has no new ideas or policies. His vow is to never ever let a black or minority become president again. You right wing nuts can disagree with me which is fine, but deep down you know it is true. He is feeding this non-sense to the TP Klan so that he can get re-elected and that is the only way he will be elected again. Just keep feeding the hatred mush-mouth with your buddies Ryan, Cantor, Cruz, Boehner and the likes. You have no control over your party so just keeping pushing the lies and hate and stealing the votes. Grand old party of hatred, cheaters and liars.

    February 25, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Jake

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Needs to remember we sent him to Washington kill off all Social Spending. He has fail to far. Social Security and Medicare tax are still coming out of my check. I still see people getting goverment freebees. Listen up congressman fix this or we will replace you.

    February 25, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. cbr

    Sen. Mitch McConnell is an obstructionist right now. He spent four years doing nothing because he did not want to do anything that might get Barack Obama re-elected. He really does need to retire because he is unwilling to work with the President or anyone else to move the country ahead. He has willingly accepted his pay, staffed his office, had his transportation back to his home state paid for by taxpayers, accrued a staff as Minority Leaders.

    Now he is speaking out and blaming the President for everything. Interesting choice considering how little he has done. He will, of course, side with the TEA Party to enhance his chances to be re-elected. He will side with the NRA because he is afraid of their :power: and he cannot stand on his own two feet.

    February 25, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    ...a single shot from a single shotgun will probably stop a single intruder. But should there be another, a one pull, one shot AR-15 is more effective.


    The intruders don't know what you're packing besides that shotgun. Do you REALLY think anyone with bad intentions is going to hang around to see what else you're going to lob at them? That being said, what exactly are you into that would make you a target for a pack of heavily armed individuals to come gunning for you?

    February 25, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Did you ever wonder who profits if the 47% are forced to rely upon the government?


    I live in Pinellas County Florida. Those who profit off the 47% in this area are geriactric facilities, medical providers, ambulance corporations, elderly transport corporations, and senior service corporations just to name a few.

    February 25, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    Obama ALWAYS starts his campaigns 2 yrs, in advance, because he LIES to the people, and then BRAIN WASHES them until they believe the lies!

    It is amazing to see how gullible the people really are!

    February 25, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. n222s

    Marcia, I'm with you. I'm tired of the carnage as well. Ban the guns. Yes, but they won't go away. When we banned liquor, what happened? We ban drugs, what is happening? We let people walk out of mental health institutions (in effect, banning many of them) without any further support, what is happening? We have children growing up without fathers, what is happening? Our schools demand little of our children, what is happening?

    Think about it, in the last 60 years we've had a major upheaval in this country regarding our social norms that have NOTHING to do with money. And the only real progress we've made (thank God) is in the area of civil rights.

    Aside from civil rights (not a small thing), can you say we are better off as a country than we were 60 years ago? I'm not blaming any party or person. I'm simply saying that our nation's ills will not be cured by banning a single type of gun. Oh, we might cause a nut to use a bomb like McVeigh instead of a semi-auto rifle. But do you really think such a ban will make a dent in the Chicago murder rate? It is sad that our outrage is only expressed when the victims are primarily white and in large numbers at a time. When the victims are of color and die off at a rate of a couple a day, as in Chicago, well, we don't seem to get quite as worked up, do we?

    February 25, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    n222s wrote:

    Real Truth, here is some other truth as well. Both sides use fear. Who is saying we will experience financial collapse if we try to cut 44 billion for the budget for the rest of 2013 (because the fiscal year is half over, the sequester won't be fully felt till 2014).
    Have you had another short term memory wipe or something? Roughly 60 days ago the GDP numbers for the final quarter of 2012 came out and the GDP numbers had dropped. Republicans blamed on it on the Defense Department cuts that were enacted as a result of a previous bill. {or was it this one?}

    In other words, Republicans have done a Full Monty Romney Flip-Flop on the effects of deep spending cuts. 60 days ago, they argued that the cuts had dramatically hurt GDP. Today, 60 days later, they argue that it will help grow GDP.

    The only question that remains is how long is it going to take for the right wing to figure out their own hypocrixy, realize that they're the last to know, and just simply cave in to Pres. Obama again.

    February 25, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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