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McConnell campaign parodies Grimes' answering machine

by Joe Arnold


Posted on June 25, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 8:22 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is taking notice of the potential candidacy of  Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, releasing a new web video on Tuesday that seeks to link Grimes with the baggage of other Democrats.

The "Off the Hook" video, released exclusively to WHAS11's Good Morning Kentuckiana Tuesday morning, features what the McConnell campaign imagines as the messages left on Grimes' telephone answering machine and computer message board by people encouraging her to run, beginning and ending with President Barack Obama.

"Alison, this is Barack," the Obama impersonator intones.  "As you might know, I've been looking for my Kentucky candidate to run against Mitch McConnell.  I want you to just imagine what we could do together. Call me... maybe." 

Obama garnered only 37 percent of the Kentucky vote in the 2012 presidential election.  In 67 of Kentucky's 120 counties, Obama lost to "Uncommitted" in the Democratic primary.

On the web video, a faux Governor Steve Beshear is presented as coaxing Grimes to enter the Senate race as a tactic to "clear the field" for his son, Andy, presumably in the 2015 Attorney General's race.

A President Bill Clinton voice first mentions one-time potential candidate Ashley Judd before prodding Grimes.  A Judd computer message describes Grimes as a "great back-up plan."

Other Democrats lampooned on the video are U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Louisville Mayor Harvey Sloane and Attorney General Jack Conway.

It is the third parody video released by the McConnell campaign since February.  Three other cinematically-styled campaign videos have also been released by the campaign in recent months.

Though McConnell has defended the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, his campaign video still makes a dig by referencing Obama and "wiretapping" and pairing the controversy with the unauthorized clandestine recording of McConnell's campaign headquarters by at least one member of the Progress Kentucky Super PAC.

While the video appears to be crafted for Internet use only, other ads dealing with McConnell are airing on Kentucky television.

An adviser to a local super PAC that supports McConnell, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, tells WHAS11 the group will launch a $260,000 ad campaign on Tuesday which will link Grimes to Obama.

Two national Democrat-linked groups are already spending more than a combined $250,000 to lambaste McConnell.   

The Patriot Majority USA ad, which is also backed by Senate Majority PAC, features a McConnell quote videotaped at a 2008 debate with Democratic candidate Bruce Lunsford.  "I've lived on a government salary for 30 years," McConnell's voice is repeated four times as the commercial characterizes McConnell's record as voting for bank bailouts and bills that included congressional pay raises while "cutting Medicare."