FRANKFORT — A new TV ad by Senate Majority PAC tries to portray U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as the "guardian of gridlock" and an obstructionist whose political tactics have hurt Kentuckians.
The 30-second ad titled "Guardian" started running across the state Tuesday at a cost of about $270,000. It is part of the independent political action committee's "30 Years is Too Long Campaign" against McConnell that started last month.
It uses footage of McConnell and media reports in claiming that it's time to oust McConnell from the Senate. It contends he has lost respect among those in his own party.
"Mitch McConnell, the self-proclaimed guardian of gridlock, has put his own political ambitions above the well being of Kentuckians," said Ty Matsdorf, spokesman for Senate Majority PAC, in a release.
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"As we have said from the beginning, we are going to continue to highlight how after 30 years, Mitch McConnell has forgotten about the people of Kentucky."
McConnell, R-Louisville, has been in the U.S. Senate since January 1985. He has been Senate minority leader since January 2007.
McConnell has already started running his own ads.
Of the latest Senate Majority PAC ad, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in an email, "Barack Obama's allies know as much about Republicans or Kentuckians as they do about coal jobs and health care. These ads show that they are desperately trying to throw a life-jacket to Alison Lundergan Grimes' fledgling campaign in an attempt to let a Nevadan who says 'coal makes us sick,' not a proud Kentuckian, set the agenda for the Senate and continue waging the war on coal and implementation of Obamacare."
Benton was referring to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has tangled with McConnell.
Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state, announced July 1 that she is seeking the Democratic nomination in next year's U.S. Senate race.
Owensboro contractor Ed Marksberry, Louisville musician and music promoter Bennie J. Smith and University of Louisville communications professor Greg Leichty also have said they would seek the Democratic nomination.
McConnell also got an opponent Tuesday in May's Republican primary. Louisville businessman Matt Levin, favored by some Tea Party advocates, released a press advisory listing stops on a statewide tour to announce his candidacy.
CNN reported Tuesday that Reid, at a Democratic gathering Monday night, said McConnell "tried to make love to the Tea Party and they didn't like it."
"The 30 Years Is Too Long Campaign" is an effort between Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA through the November 2014 election. It will use paid television and radio media, digital advertisements, mail, telephones, email, social media, research and a Web presence to try to elect Democrats to the Senate.