Full-court press: McConnell hit in DSCC's first 2014 ad
March 28th, 2013
10:54 AM ET
9 years ago

Full-court press: McConnell hit in DSCC's first 2014 ad

(CNN) - Not wasting any time, the group tasked with getting Democrats elected to the Senate is already on the offensive against the most powerful Republican in the upper chamber.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released its first political ad of the cycle Thursday, targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as he faces re-election in November 2014.

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Using a March Madness theme, the 60-second radio ad mimics play-by-play commentary during a basketball game to describe what the DSCC considers failures of leadership by the five-term senator from Kentucky.

"Boomshakala. McConnell dunks on the middle class–again," one of the faux-broadcasters says, as cheers and the squeaking of shoes on a basketball court can be heard in the background.

The ad will run in major markets across Kentucky from March 28-April 3.

McConnell's team said the ad is a sign that Democrats are worried they don't yet have a candidate to run against the senator.

"Having failed on their tenth attempt to recruit a candidate against Senator McConnell, team Obama is frantically trying to keep the story alive that Kentucky is competitive for them," said campaign manager Jesse Benton, responding to the ad. "While they're running misleading ads Senator McConnell will be focused on protecting Kentucky from Washington's bad ideas."

The ad's release comes one day after actress and activist Ashley Judd announced she would not challenge McConnell for his seat. A spokesman for the DSCC said, however, the timing of the new ad had nothing to with Judd's decision.

"We were planning on going today anyway," national press secretary Justin Barasky told CNN.

"We just thought it was about time," he continued, pointing to money McConnell has already spent on ads. "We're serious about going after his seat...He's vulnerable, so we're getting started early."

McConnell released his first spot earlier this month, a commercial that featured his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, hitting back at an anti-McConnell, progressive group that attacked Chao's ethnicity on Twitter.

Like the DSCC, McConnell's campaign also rolled out a statewide radio ad Thursday.

โ€œIf you believe in your heart that the direction Barack Obama wants to take this country is wrong, itโ€™s time to stand up together and fight back,โ€ McConnell says in the ad.

While Democrats in Kentucky have yet to put forth a serious contender for the nomination, eyes are turning to Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State. Grimes has not ruled out a bid against McConnell, and was touted as a top potential candidate during a conference call with Democratic officials earlier this month.

Barasky said he's not sure when the party will have a candidate in Kentucky but expressed confidence in their potential to oust McConnell, saying they're "not in a huge rush to find someone."

Whoever challenges McConnell, however, will be running against a veteran senator with a robust war chest. In all, McConnell's campaign had $7.3 million cash on hand as of their last filing with the Federal Election Commission.

- CNN's Shannon Travis, Paul Steinhauser, and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2014 • Ads • Mitch McConnell • Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    It's time for this little snake to be shown the door!

    March 28, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Common Sense 13

    Please put that turkey in retirement early so our country can fully recover~

    March 28, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw, Shucks,
    The Constutition gives everbody the Oppertunity to be sucessful. No Exceptions. It takes time and smart decisions to get up to middle class if there is such a thing. Many have tried it the other way. Few have suceeded. Be fiscally conservative. You may not get rich but you will be sucessful.

    March 28, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Pete

    McConnell is scared and republicans in congress know it..He out spent his competitor last election over 10-1 and even then he just barely was reelected..People of Kentucky want change and they know with McConnell as their senator they won't recieve it plain and simple...McConnell ,his wife the ex Sec of Labor who out sourced thousands of jobs to China and other countries under Bushs administration knows that McConnell can't run on his past merits because they've been all negetive for his constituents of Kentucky as well as the citizens of these United States..Remember it was he who stood on the congressional floor stating his one and only agenda was making this new first africanamerican president in Mr.Obama a one termer but as all you racist republicans and others seemed to realize his plans didn't work did they and Pres.Obama is still here isn't he!!So remember that republicans because of his narrow minded bigotted attitude nothing ,I mean nothing has come out positive from McConnell and that's a proven fact that's simply politically pathedic isn't it!!!

    March 28, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Thomas

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to retire .

    He was the errand boy for GW Bush , his time is over.

    March 28, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. lottie

    Kentucky has mitch and rand. That tells you something right there. OMG

    March 28, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Bill

    This old coot will be gone after 2014. Time to retire Mitch – you represent everything that is wrong with Congress. An agenda based on obstruction.

    March 28, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Ken in MD

    Since McConnell already ran ads slamming Ashley Judd (who hadn't even announced she was running), he shouldn't by surprised this.

    March 28, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    It will be a good day in America when I no longer have to see this man, or listen to (or read) his lies. Yeah, I know. GOPers will vote for him regardless. Apparently in GOPerville, the more a candidate for ANY office lies, the happier their constituents are, and the more likely those constituents are to vote them in. Gotta wonder what makes these folks tick. Both the candidates AND their voters.

    Then again, it's probably better not to know what makes them tick. Less mind-boggling minutiae to cope with.

    March 28, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    McConnell's team said the ad is a sign that Democrats are worried they don't yet have a candidate to run against the senator.

    and it was a sign that the GOP and marble mouth Beaker were worried about Judd when they started throwing up ads about her before she even declared. Is the Beaker team THAT stupid when they say things like this?????

    March 28, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    The best thing for Sen. McConnell to do would be to take one for the team and simply retire. A drawn out, drag down, dirty fight in the mud better serves the long term interests of the Democrats far more than it will for the Republicans Party. Repubilcans would most likely push back with the same arguments and images that caused them to get trounced in 2012.

    March 28, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Ashley Judd may not be running Mitch, but that doesn't mean the people of Kentucky still want you as their senator. We are getting your obstructionists behind out of Congress.

    March 28, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    It will be fun to see who will be tougher on Sen McConnelll, Democrats or Tea Partiers?

    March 28, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. king

    the man that brought in the most crippling congress in history, at a time when the country needed congress the most to help her citizens out. this man will go down in history as the most obstructive filibustering person in American history, while the American people starved. yes his trickle down buddies will back him up. because they want him to keep on pushing money to them so they can invest in china and build their war machine against us, as we watch our infrastructure and future crumble down in the dust.

    March 28, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Marcuscassius

    If yuo really think that Republican election fixing is a conspiracy nuts issue, look at all the comments all over the web decrying the republicans and theier treatment of the country, then look at the amount of Govenors and stae officials that are getting and radically changing their states. These people are not being voted in. They're being bought in.

    Republicans need to go the way of the Dodo.

    March 28, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. ST

    Why all these panicking McConnell? I think you will get heart attack the day it will be announced that you have lost election. You have been building up the bad name since 2009 when Pres. Obama was first elected until now. You did it openly while people marking your behaviour. Paying back is in the process and on the way coming.

    March 28, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. nothing new here

    McConnell is not almighty...
    But I have to admit, I am more interested in who all the Tea Party activists are going to support in 2014. They chose some really...uh...interesting...candidates for the 2012 season. Can't wait to see the 2014 entertainment list ๐Ÿ™‚

    March 28, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Jeff in Virginia

    McConnell is one of the most corrupt politicians in our country.

    How did he go from a man of modest means to being a multi-millionaire, all while sitting in the Senate with no real job?

    March 28, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. A Kickin` Donkey

    The ad says McConnell is protecting Kentucky from Washington`s bad ideas . . .

    Can I expect that Kentucky and it`s uninformed Republican & "conservative" electorate will return New York, New Jersey`s, California`s, Connecticut`s, Pennsylvania`s MONEY?? Kentucky is a NET RECIPIENT OF federal dollars; it gets a HANDOUT [sorry, that`s conservative-speak].
    Why is it all the "red states" that take welfare from taxpayers with Kentucky in the top third?

    March 28, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |