FRANKFORT — The Republican Governors Association launched its first TV ad Wednesday in Kentucky's race for governor, trying to link Democratic nominee Jack Conway with President Obama.
The strategy of using Obama, who is deeply unpopular in Kentucky, has been a theme by Republicans in several other races in the state over the past few years.
"Jack Conway runs for governor as an Obama liberal with more vague promises," the 30-second RGA ad says.
It claims that Conway supported Obama on a bill known as cap-and-trade and on the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Conway spokesman Daniel Kemp said independent fact checkers have ruled that the charges in the ad are false.
Conway said in 2009, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, that he would never do anything to hurt Kentucky and that his view on cap-and-trade was misrepresented by a newspaper headline.
Cap-and-trade, opposed by the coal industry, would cap greenhouse-gas emissions and allow companies that release less to sell credits to companies that pollute more.
Conway did say he would have voted for Obamacare, but he said it should allow Medicare to buy prescription drugs in bulk to save the system $200 billion.
Kemp said Kentuckians know that Conway, as the state's attorney general, sued President Obama over federal environmental regulations to protect Kentucky jobs and coal.
Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Patrick Hughes also criticized the ad, saying it featured Mexican coal miners in stock footage taken in Mexico.
"Trying to pass off Mexican miners as Kentucky coal workers in a false attack against Attorney General Jack Conway is a move straight out of Matt Bevin's deceitful playbook," Hughes said.
The RGA had no immediate comment on Hughes' statement.