SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- In his most direct attack so far, U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is launching a television ad that accuses Republican rival Mark Kirk of lying repeatedly while backing policies that have hurt the nation's economy.
The ad, entitled "Unfit," includes snippets of news and talk show hosts talking about incorrect statements Kirk has made. (Scroll down to watch new ad.)
"One lie after another after another," one says. A headline labels Kirk "not fit for public office."
The ad, which the Gianoulias campaign said would start airing statewide on Monday, also accuses Kirk of lying about Giannoulias' record. That appears to be a reference to Kirk stretching the facts to link the Democrat to the unpopular BP oil company.
It also criticizes Kirk's record in Congress by saying he voted for Bush administration policies that "wrecked the economy."
Giannoulias and Kirk, battling for the high-profile seat once held by President Barack Obama, each carry heavy political baggage. They're attempting to divert attention from their own problems by focusing attention on the other candidate.
Kirk, a five-term member of Congress, has been caught exaggerating his accomplishments as an officer in the Navy Reserve, even sometimes making false statements, such as claiming he took part in the first Gulf War or saying he was named the Navy's intelligence officer of the year.
Kirk has apologized and promised to be more accurate in the future.
Meanwhile, Giannoulias was an executive in a family-owned bank that sometimes lent large amounts to criminals. The bank eventually failed and was taken over by federal regulators.
As treasurer, Giannoulias ran a college savings program that saw one of its investment options lose roughly $70 million.
Republicans have labeled him a failed banking executive and a "mob lawyer."
The Giannoulias campaign wouldn't say how much money it expects to spend on the ad or how long it might stay on the air.
WATCH the ad here: