(CNN) - Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign says it's going up on television Friday with a new television commercial seizing upon last week's news that the Senate minority leader and political operatives were secretly taped at his Louisville, Kentucky headquarters.
The ad, which McConnell's campaign says they'll spend six figures to run statewide in Kentucky on broadcast and cable T.V., tries to link the push by national Democrats to defeat the Senate's top Republican in his re-election bid next year with the controversy over the secret recordings, along with an earlier racial attack on McConnell's wife by a local progressive group.
"Mitch McConnell is Obama's No. 1 target because Mitch protects Kentucky from Obama's bad ideas," says the female narrator in the 30-second spot.
"Liberals will do anything to beat McConnell," adds the narrator, who ends the commercial by asking "How dirty will Obama's allies get?"
Last week the website of the liberal magazine Mother Jones reported on the tapes, which included political operatives discussing how to attack actress and activist Ashley Judd, who had considered a Democratic challenge to McConnell, including possibly highlighting her past bouts with depression. The five-term senator's campaign immediately went on offense, turning a potentially damaging political story into a story about a criminal investigation into how the recording was obtained.
A Kentucky progressive activist who is under suspicion of recording the early February strategy session has started a legal defense fund.
This is the McConnell campaign's second ad for an election that’s still more than a year and a half away. It's extremely rare for an incumbent to go up with spots so early in a campaign cycle. The first ad highlighted a tweet by a progressive group in Kentucky that attacked the Chinese heritage of McConnell's wife Elaine Chao, who served as President George W. Bush's labor secretary.
"Mitch McConnell is the living, breathing embodiment of everything that is wrong with Washington. Polls show that McConnell is the most unpopular senator in the entire country, so he is desperate to play the victim," Matt Canter, deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told CNN.
News of the new McConnell ad was first reported by Politico.