LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Republican Matt Bevin says Sen. Mitch McConnell embraces a style of "crony capitalism" that favors big business over others.
Bevin criticized McConnell for supporting earmarks and government bailouts in a hard-hitting speech in Louisville on Thursday.
Bevin, a political newcomer, is challenging Kentucky's longest-serving senator in the May GOP primary.
Bevin struck some of the same themes as McConnell in denouncing the health care overhaul and regulations aimed at coal.
The challenger says McConnell undermined efforts to defund the health law and has "dilly-dallied" as the coal sector suffers.
McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore says Kentucky voters won't buy into Bevins' "laughable pitch" that he is a Kentucky conservative.
The winner of the GOP primary will likely face Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes in the November election.