FRANKFORT — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul fired back at his chief rival, Trey Grayson, with a TV ad that said Grayson is a friend of President Obama and "no friend of coal."
The Paul ad, which began airing Tuesday, is in response to a Grayson campaign ad that began airing Monday in Eastern Kentucky and questions Paul's commitment to coal.
The 30-second Paul ad shows video of Grayson, Kentucky's secretary of state, saying that the country "needs to bring nuclear on" as coal-fired plants are being phased out.
"Rand Paul will stop Obama and the EPA from crippling the mining industry," the ad says.
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It then shows another video of Grayson, saying, "I look forward to doing my part as secretary of state and a citizen to working with President Obama."
"A friend of Obama, no friend of coal," the ad concludes.
Nate Hodson, campaign manager for Grayson, said, "There's nothing inconsistent about what Grayson has said in supporting increased production of coal and nuclear power, as well as more off-shore drilling.
"The Paul video takes another clip of him congratulating the president on his inauguration day and rips it wildly out of context. Then, Paul steals the official Friends of Coal logo.
"Viewers can decide whose ad is accurate and whose isn't."
David Moss, spokesman for of the Kentucky chapter of Friends of Coal, said he has asked the Paul campaign to remove from its ad the group's logo — a black slash with its name.
"We do not endorse candidates," Moss said.
Paul's campaign manager, David Adams, said the logo will be removed.
Asked whether the Paul campaign took Grayson's comments about Obama out of context, Adams said, "Turnabout is fair play. Those are words Trey Grayson said about Obama."
Grayson's current ad shows Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon, speaking to a group on Feb. 2, 2008.
"Coal's a very dirty form of energy," Paul says. Grayson then says he has "consistently favored Kentucky coal to create good jobs" and pledges to "fight against Obama's war on coal and for clean coal and for Kentucky jobs."
Adams called the ad "another Grayson distortion."