Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) began running a six-figure ad campaign Thursday more than 18 months ahead of his reelection bid and without any announced challenger.
"Mitch McConnell is Obama’s number one target because Mitch protects Kentucky from Obama’s bad ideas," says a female narrator. “Liberals will do anything to beat McConnell."
The spot seems to be part of a strategy to rally conservatives around McConnell as an opponent of President Barack Obama, who is deeply disliked in the state. McConnell has low approval ratings overall, and 32 percent of Republicans said they would favor someone more conservative. No one, however, has stepped forward to run against him yet.
The spot also mentions the recording of a confidential McConnell strategy meeting that the senator has called a Watergate-style bugging. One Kentucky Democrat accused Progress Kentucky, a poorly-funded liberal super PAC derided by national progressives and state Democrats, of doing it.
"They also launched racial attacks against Mitch’s wife," says a narrator, referencing the group's tweet about the Chinese heritage of McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. McConnell ran an ad last month over the tweet.
"And now liberals compare Mitch to al Qaeda terrorists and North Korea’s dictator," says the narrator, referring to an Americans United For Change ad. "How dirty will Obama’s allies get?"