Black and blue in the Bluegrass State

Grimes, McConnell on the attack in Ky.
Grimes, McConnell on the attack in Ky.

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    Grimes, McConnell on the attack in Ky.

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Grimes, McConnell on the attack in Ky. 02:30

Story highlights

  • McConnell spokeswoman says new Grimes ad shows Grimes has "run out of justification"
  • Grimes's Medicare ad features story about a stroke suffered by Grimes's grandfather
  • Grimes spokeswoman calls criticism from McConnell's campaign "new low," "repulsive"
  • McConnell's seat is one of the few Republican Senate seats considered vulnerable this year
Think spats over dead relatives are beyond the political pale?
You haven't spent much time in Kentucky lately.
The bitter, expensive brawl over Mitch McConnell's Senate seat took an even uglier turn on Thursday, as spokeswomen for McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes traded shots over a new Grimes Medicare attack ad featuring a story about a stroke suffered by the Democrat's now-deceased grandfather.
"It's a touching family story about a familiar circumstance to many Kentucky families followed by a totally debunked partisan attack on Senator McConnell from an increasingly desperate Alison Grimes," said McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore.
"Anyone who would use their grandfather's stroke to reintroduce an attack that received the triple crown of fact check false ratings has run out of justification for their candidacy."
Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton was not amused.
"In a new low even for him, it is repulsive that Mitch McConnell is attacking Alison's deceased grandfather," she declared.
The ad in question, which comes on the heels of a new McConnell ad blasting Grimes for supporting President Obama's Affordable Care Act, shows Grimes's grandmother discussing the family's struggles in the wake of her husband's stroke.
"Our life became something else," her grandmother says. "No more vacations. No retirement. Just existing."
"This is why we have to strengthen Medicare," Grimes then says. "Senator McConnell's voted over and over again to raise seniors' Medicare costs. I'll never do that."
McConnell has cried foul over Grimes's repeated Medicare attacks, but Grimes hasn't let up on a potential winning issue for Democrats swimming against the tide in red states this year.
The ugliness in Kentucky doesn't stop with Medicare and grandparents. In recent days, the two sides have also exchanged barbs over immigration and guns, issues considered likely to jack up turnout in the November midterm election.
McConnell's seat is one of only two or three Republican seats (see Georgia and Kansas) considered vulnerable in what is generally expected to be a good year for the GOP.
Republicans need a net gain of six Senate seats in November to win control of the chamber. If they can pull that off while beating back Grimes's challenge, McConnell becomes the next Senate Majority Leader.
With so much at stake in the Bluegrass State, it's a safe bet this campaign's tone won't improve anytime soon.