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Dueling Kentucky Senate Ads Feature 9/11, Rev. Jeremiah Wright

The GOP Senate candidates in Kentucky are ratcheting up their campaign rhetoric and blasting each other for referencing the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in their political ads -- even as both sides continued to put out ads referencing the sensitive subject.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson on Tuesday called for his Republican primary opponent Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and the son of libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), to stop airing an ad using imagery from Sept. 11, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Grayson reportedly said in a statement that he was "truly offended" that Paul would use that imagery "to deceive Kentuckians about his true beliefs."

Paul's campaign manager, David Adams, called Grayson's request to pull the ad "nonsense," according to the Herald-Leader.

Paul's ad was a response to an ad Grayson launched last week (shown above) in which a narrator accuses Paul of having "strange ideas" like opposing the Patriot Act. Says the narrator: "Paul even wonders if 9/11 was our fault." The ad shows Paul paraphrasing his father's belief that "maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries."

Paul then ran the ad Grayson attacked yesterday (at left), which showed images of the Twin Towers burning and the damaged Pentagon building.

"America was attacked and fighting back was the right thing to do," Paul says in the ad. "Now a desperate Trey Grayson is using Sept. 11 to attack my integrity and my patriotism. Trey Grayson, your shameful TV ad is a lie, and it dishonors you."

On Tuesday, the same day Grayson chastised Paul for his use of 9/11 imagery, Grayson released a second, 90-second Internet video (shown below) that splices comments from Rand Paul and Ron Paul regarding the rationale behind the Sept. 11 attacks with comments from Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial pastor associated with President Obama.

The video, at one point, shows Rand Paul saying "there is blow back from our foreign policy" and then shows Wright saying, "America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Grayson and Paul are facing off in the Republican primary on May 18. Kentucky's Senate seat is open because Republican Sen. Jim Bunning is retiring. The other Kentucky Senator, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, is backing Grayson, but Paul is leading in the latest polls, including a March Research 2000 poll in which Paul beats Grayson 40 percent to 28 percent.

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