FRANKFORT — Mitch McConnell is no longer the only U.S. Senate candidate running against Democratic President Barack Obama.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell’s Democratic opponent, began broadcast of a radio ad Wednesday in coal counties blasting Obama for his coal policies. The ad is airing in both the eastern and western portions of the state where coal is mined.
In the ad, Grimes directly addresses Obama about what she says is the effect of his “pie-in-the-sky” policies on coal industry employment.
“Mr. President, Kentucky has lost one-third of our coal jobs in just the last three years,” Grimes begins. “Now your EPA is targeting Kentucky coal with pie-in-the-sky regulations that are impossible to achieve. It’s clear you have no idea how this affects Kentucky.”
The Grimes campaign knows she’s vulnerable to attacks by McConnell and his allies which assert that she will be beholden to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who once said, “Coal makes us sick.”
Grimes easily won the Democratic primary against three relatively unknown challengers who raised and spent no money, pulling in 76 percent of the vote. But in coal-producing counties, Grimes’ margins were much less – 60 to 65 percent.
At the same time, McConnell, who defeated his challenger, Matt Bevin, 60 to 35 percent statewide ran ahead of his statewide margins in those same eastern and western Kentucky coal counties.
Clearly Grimes is hoping to get out in front of more attacks from McConnell with what her campaign spokeswoman said is a “significant, six-figure, multi-media campaign” in the coal field regions.
A day earlier Grimes began running newspaper ads in the region displaying a photo of a miner holding a lump of coal with the caption, “President Obama and Washington don’t get it . . . Alison Grimes does” and promising to “oppose anyone who works against Kentucky’s coal industry.”