Bevin began advertising on television the day he announced he was running, paid for with his own money. He said that was necessary to introduce himself to voters and to defend against McConnell’s usual campaign strategy of defining an opponent before he can define himself.
That didn’t stop McConnell from running ads hitting Bevin for accepting a grant to keep a family-owned Connecticut company, Bevin Brothers, going after a fire and labeling him “Bailout Bevin.”
McConnell’s campaign has also accused Bevin of misrepresenting his education background and failing to report tax liens in his application for the Connecticut grant, charges repeated Thursday by McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore.
“Matt Bevin has serious integrity and character problems that start with him misrepresenting who he is, where he went to school and what his business practices are, and end with a total distortion of Sen. McConnell’s record,” Moore said.
Meanwhile, Bevin is now running a radio ad accusing McConnell of “funding Obamacare” through McConnell’s negotiations to re-open the government. But the ACA is what is called a permanent appropriation — approved in a prior session of Congress and an entitlement — and the shutdown did not affect funding for the new law.
Bevin said that didn’t include funding for implementing the ACA and its troubled website, claiming the accusation against McConnell is valid. McConnell’s spokeswoman scoffed at the accusation.
“The average Kentuckian would drop to a knee in laughter at the suggestion that Sen. McConnell is insufficiently committed to repealing Obamacare,” said Moore. “Matt Bevin was filling out phony paperwork for government bailouts in Connecticut when Mitch McConnell was holding more than 50 hospital town halls in Kentucky to talk about his quest to repeal Obamacare.”
McConnell recently seemed to turn attention to the general election, ignoring Bevin, but that changed last week when he began running ads against Bevin. His backers say part of the reason is a determination to fight back against conservative groups that threaten to support primary challengers to Republican incumbents.