Grandfather's stroke centerpiece of new Alison Grimes ad

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


    Grimes, McConnell on the attack in Ky.


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

Story highlights

  • Alison Grimes' ad features family to attack Mitch McConnell on Medicare
  • Grimes' grandmother talks about her husband's stroke in the ad
  • Her family was also featured in an ad during Grimes' 2011 campaign
Now it's about family. A new heartbreaker television ad from the Democratic candidate looking to wrest Mitch McConnell from his perch atop the Republican Party in the Senate makes Medicare a gut issue.
The ad describes the struggle of Alison Lundergan Grimes' grandmother after her husband's stroke.
"My husband was a strong person, but the stroke just took everything away," says Grimes' grandmother, Elise Case, in the ad.
"I remember that day, when my mom called. The world stopped," said Grimes.
Grimes' new ad costs six figures, is 60 seconds long and airs statewide in Kentucky Thursday, days after a six-figure ad broadcast by McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader. That ad pinged Grimes for supporting Obamacare.
"Grimes twice supported Obama's platform for Obamacare," says the narrator in McConnell's latest, which is a response to Grimes' earlier skeet-shooting attack.
Grimes has in the past criticized McConnell's votes to defund the Affordable Care Act. Focusing on Medicare pulls at different heartstrings, however, and can cause a limited group of voters to abandon normal political alliances, a tactic especially helpful in the tight race between Grimes and McConnell.
"My grandfather was a proud man," says Grimes in her latest ad, entitled, "A Proud Man," which is interspersed with old photographs of her grandfather and grandmother.
He "didn't want to ask for help, but they needed it," she says.
For 10 years the Case family struggled to afford medicine when Grimes' grandfather was left unable to work or speak after the stroke.
"We scrimped and saved, because suddenly our finances were going for medical bills," said Case.
Grimes has attacked McConnell on Medicare before, bashing a McConnell vote on Medicare that she said cost a coal miner a $6,000 increase in medical bills. And she has featured her family in at least one political ad while running for secretary of state in 2011. That ad, which featured both of Grimes' grandmothers, was widely credited for her 61% victory in that race.
Grimes' father, Jerry Lundergan, is a political bigwig in Kentucky; a former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
In her current political ad with family, Grimes said, "Sen. McConnell has voted over and over again to raise seniors Medicare costs. I'll never do that," then she hugged her grandmother and approved the message.