Sunday, September 14, 2014

As observers suggest different strategy for Grimes, new ad shows her saying she disagrees with Obama

New ads make news . . .
  • Alison Lundergan Grimes has started a television commercial in which she personally makes explicit her differences with President Obama while she takes series of gunshots at clay pigeons and some verbal ones at Sen. Mitch McConnell. Grimes says "I'm not Barack Obama. I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA," the Environmental Protection Agency. She says McConnell "has done next to nothing" to save coal jobs. The 30-second spot ends with a still photograph of McConnell holding up a rifle at a Conservative Political Action Committee event this spring and Grimes saying "Mitch, that's not how you hold a gun." Earlier, she says "Mitch McConnell wants you to think I'm Barack Obama. Mitch is the same guy who thought Duke basketball players were UK." That's a reference to an early McConnell ad that used an incorrect photograph.
    UPDATE, Sept. 15: Grimes's campaign says the ad started Monday, but at least some stations started it Sunday. McConnell's campaign issued a press release noting that Grimes has raised money from and with supporters of new gun control measures.
  • Bluegrass Rural, a super PAC with an Oakland, Ky., address, has bought some 60-second radio ads attacking McConnell for his votes for trade agreements and oil companies and against a 2005 bill to buy more armored equipment for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Democratic activist Matt Barron of rural Massachusetts, who is involved in the effort, said the group was spending "four figures," or less than $10,000. His press releases say the trade and oil ads begin Monday on stations in Owensboro, Madisonville, Hartford, Glasgow, Bardstown, Liberty, Russell Springs, Mannsville and Mount Sterling. The military ad will run on stations in Lebanon Junction and Vine Grove, near Fort Knox; and Hopkinsville and Cadiz, near Fort Campbell. UPDATE, Sept. 20: Berry Craig writes about the PAC on Hillbilly Report.
  • Ronnie Ellis of CNHI News Service writes of Grimes: "A plurality of respondents said they don’t know enough about her to form an opinion – providing McConnell with the opportunity to define her as 'Obama’s candidate.' . . . Maybe over the next two months Grimes needs to persuade undecided voters she’s more than just not McConnell."
  • "Grimes might need campaign reset, observers say" is the headline over Joe Gerth's story in The Courier-Journal, which notes that the Bluegrass Poll "has seen her position erode by about 1 percentage point a month." The story quotes Democratic consultant Danny Briscoe as saying that Grimes needs to push a populist message and consider endorsing "the more popular parts of the Affordable Care Act." Al Cross explores the advantages and disadvantages of the latter idea in a column published online Saturday and in print Sunday.
  • Gerth reports that the American Civil Liberties Union is objecting to KET's tightening of requirements for inclusion in its Oct. 13 Senate debate, which had the effect of exclusing Libertarian David Patterson. A KET spokesman said that was not the reason.
  • Grimes doesn't support "fast track" trade authority for presidents, which McConnell favors, Kevin Wheatley reports for cn|2's "Pure Politics." Grimes told him that she appreciates business interests' “feeling and need to have fast-track approval because Congress isn’t working,” trade agreements “should be fair, especially for our American workers.” Wheatley notes Grimes is supported by labor unions, which oppose fast-track. "Grimes said in a statement emailed to Pure Politics after Saturday’s event that she would evaluate the final proposal 'to see if it is good for Kentucky workers and businesses based on these principles: Will it give Made in the USA goods and services a fair shot of getting into foreign markets or will barriers remain? Will new trading standards be strong enough on labor and legal requirements, or will they be like Chinese standards: filthy factories, sweatshop labor, and stolen patent rights? Will the U.S. and other like-minded countries be setting the rules on trade and commerce, or will it be taking the rules created by countries — like China — with command and control economies?'"

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