Democratic Congressional candidate Amy McGrath is pushing back against the Republican-backed narrative that she’s a liberal outsider in an unconventional ad her campaign released Friday.
McGrath said she has intentionally rejected “the usual attack/counter-attack ad game,” saying that is what voters dislike about politics.
“This week — three months from Election Day — Congressman Barr and his Washington allies launched four simultaneous attack ads against me. Four of them. At the same time,” McGrath said in a statement. “But I’m calling B.S. on the usual way of responding. It’s time for a new generation of leaders who aren’t afraid to go against the grain and run a campaign that the voters can be proud of.”
Earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr launched an ad calling McGrath a feminist who is pro-choice and too liberal for Central Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. It was quickly followed by three more ads attacking McGrath from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican political action committee. The ads criticized McGrath on immigration and taxes, while tying her to national Democrats.
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Rather than responding in kind, McGrath instead stood on a runway at Bluegrass Airport (a consistent theme of her ads) and said she wasn’t beholden to the Democratic Party.
“I want to say to Andy Barr – seriously, is that all you got?” McGrath says, putting her hand on a fighter jet. “That’s exactly what you’ve done 98 percent of the time. I don’t believe in party lines. I approved this message because after 89 combat missions, there’s nothing a party leader could say that could force me to do anything.”
McGrath has consistently said she isn’t beholden to national Democrats throughout her campaign. She often references the Democratic Congressional Campaign’s decision to encourage Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to challenge her during the primary and references the fact that her husband is a registered Republican.
In a statement, Barr spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker said McGrath “would be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi.”
“Ideas matter, and the people of central and Eastern Kentucky are starting to learn about Amy McGrath’s extreme left-wing ideas, which are far outside of the mainstream ...” Whitaker said. “Amy McGrath obviously wants to change the subject.”
Though McGrath hasn’t aired traditionally negative ads about Barr, that hasn’t stopped the outside groups supporting her.
Last month, a Democratic PAC launched an ad criticizing Barr over President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs. That same group called on Barr to return $3,000 in political donations he received from a Republican Congressman who was charged with insider trading this week.
The latest McGrath ad will start airing on television Saturday.