LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The re-election campaign of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) released its first major television ads on Wednesday in what the campaign has indicated is part of a broader strategy to remind Kentuckians of positive results of McConnell's five terms in the U.S. Senate.
Backed by a "six-figure buy," on statewide television, both ads tell the story of how McConnell helped workers injured after being exposed to high levels of radiation at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
“(McConnell) knocked down walls for us. He helped save peoples’ lives,” Robert Pierce says in the ads. Pierce was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998.
The campaign of Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes pointed out that Pierce is the same worker used in previous McConnell ads and argued that McConnell is using the tactic for political gain while hiding his inaction on behalf of the health and safety of workers in Paducah.
"It is no surprise Mitch McConnell has to recycle old TV ads given that he offers no new ideas," Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said in a statement. "It is insulting to Kentuckians for McConnell to haul out this old, dishonest play every six years when he's on the ballot."
Norton's news release included this YouTube link to a 2008 McConnell campaign commercial that also features Pierce.
McConnell's campaign highlighted his success in securing funding for cancer screenings, worker compensation, plant decontamination and investments for the future of the uranium enrichment facility.
"(McConnell) has been working on this issue intimately for more than a decade," his campaign said.
"The contrast couldn't be clearer," the Grimes spokeswoman countered. "Mitch McConnell will continue to run from his failed 30-year Washington record, while Alison Lundergan Grimes will bring a fresh approach and stand up for all Kentucky workers."