In what it calls its "first of many attempts to unveil the truth about Mitch McConnell's failed leadership in Washington," conservative political action committee The Madison Project on Monday will begin airing a radio ad as part of a $30,000 campaign to hammer the Senate minority leader's voting record.
Titled "Would a Conservative," the one-minute ad goes after the Kentucky Republican on everything from his support for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to past votes in favor of immigration reform to his refusal to back a proposal to vote down any continuing resolution that funds the Affordable Care Act. Former GOP Rep. Jim Ryan - an early supporter of McConnell's primary challenger Matt Bevin - heads the PAC.
"Career-Washington politician Mitch McConnell claims to be a conservative," the ad's narrator says. But "would a conservative" back TARP, as McConnell did in 2008, "bailing out his Wall Street friends with over $700 billion of your taxpayer dollars?" it asks.
Making no note of McConnell's vote this summer against a comprehensive immigration reform package, the ad goes on to ask whether a conservative would support "amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants," citing his votes for immigration reform in 1986 and 2006. It also charges him with "cutting a backroom deal" with President Obama by voting to raise the debt ceiling, and "undermining the conservative effort" to defund the Affordable Care Act.
Though he has supported repealing the president's health care law and co-sponsored a bill that would strip funding for it from the continuing resolution, McConnell has not gotten behind a proposal to vote down the next CR if it includes "Obamacare" funding. The government will shut down if Congress does not pass a new CR by Sept. 30; meanwhile, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has ruled that shutting down the government would not stop funding for the law's implementation.
"After 28 years of Mitch McConnell claiming to be a conservative but then supporting big-government policies, isn't it time conservatives dump Mitch McConnell?" the narrator concludes.
A spokeswoman for McConnell's campaign - which already has TV ads running throughout Kentucky dubbing their opponent "Bailout Bevin" - told ABCNews.com of The Madison Project: "All you need to know about this group is that they're supporting a tax delinquent bailout artist who lies on his resume over the most conservative Republican Leader in modern history."
The winner of the May 2014 primary will face off in the election against Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.