Last Friday, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign released the following radio ad claiming that he is not a “show horse,” rather a “work horse,” opening with this truly memorable line: “No one ever accused Mitch McConnell of being a big-talking backslapper.” Fact Check on that latter point: True!
Today, Team Mitch followed up on the same “work horse” theme by converting this narrative into a TV ad:
Wait a second… 11 seconds into that ad, what is that?
Multiple back slaps! Correction: Pants on Fire!
But despite his claim of being a “genuine Kentucky work horse,” Mitch will not being “showing” up for KET’s GOP primary debate tonight in Lexington, as he’s apparently too busy traveling across the country raising money and doesn’t want to risk the possibility of being shown up by Matt Bevin on live television when he’s so far ahead in the polls with just a month to go until the election.
Here’s Matt Bevin’s statement today on McConnell having better things to do read:
“Mitch McConnell is unwilling to debate me because he knows he cannot defend his record. Kentucky conservatives are not happy about his votes for trillions of dollars in debt ceiling increases, funding for Obamacare, amnesty, and bailouts. The people of Kentucky deserve answers as to why he says one thing in Kentucky and another in D.C. He’s acting as if he owns the seat and doesn’t owe anyone an explanation.”
If you look at the frame from McConnell’s new ad above, Bevin also took aim today at the senator embracing his claim to have saved 99 percent of Kentuckians from a tax increase from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which he helped engineer at the last second with President Biden to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” In the technical sense, this is true. Despite McConnell many times plunging America into a manufactured debt ceiling crisis over his refusal to raise taxes by a dime on the wealthy, he blinked in this instance to allow taxes to go up for those making over $400,000, just so those making under that weren’t hit with a scheduled tax increase.
However, this move by McConnell wasn’t just criticized by Bevin. The Republican challenger’s campaign also brought out a virtual debater of sorts to attack McConnell’s embrace of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: the 2012/2013 quotes of Mitch’s favorite public/secret frenemy, Sen. Rand Paul.
“Not only are they raising taxes – maybe on a smaller percentage of people but a large amount of money – but they’re also going to spend more money. So it’s a spending bill.” (Politico)
“I object to increasing spending and increasing taxes. That’s really the real deal killer for me. (Politico)
”There’s going to be tax increases. Which I think are bad for the economy.” (CNN)
“We have a spending problem up here, and instead of trying to restrain spending, they took entitlements off the table – and they’ve actually added new spending.” (NewsMax)
Rand Paul also called McConnell’s fiscal cliff deal “a call for term limits.”
As for why McConnell should be forgiven for this sin and supported over Matt Bevin, I’m sure Paul would be willing to tell you that in private. Just like Mitch will defend himself at 8 p.m. tonight — in private, in whatever state he’s in, just not on KET.
And while the “work horse” will not be at KET to debate Matt Bevin tonight, one also has to wonder why McConnell’s campaign would even want to mutter the word “show horse,” considering what The Humane Society thinks of his “soring” bill.
(And on the same subject: Alison Lundergan Grimes still appears to be mum on whether she will debate her Democratic primary opponents — with less of a chance of victory than Bevin — on KET, and… well, her position on a whole host of other issues.)