On Tuesday, several left-wing political groups blasted Alison Lundergran Grimes for running television ads attacking her opponent, incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for his support of the 1986 immigration reform bill signed by Ronald Reagan that gave amnesty to an estimated 3 million illegal aliens at the time.
The Grimes ad, which was released last week, is designed to give Kentucky voters the impression that McConnell voted for the 2013 Gang of Eight amnesty bill supported by Democrats Harry Reid (D-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and a handful of Republicans, including John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). McConnell voted against the 2013 bill but voted for the 1986 bill twenty-seven years earlier.
In a statement, Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, called on Grimes “to take this offensive advertisement off the air immediately.” She added, “[i]t’s deeply troubling that Grimes would stoop this low in order to try to defeat McConnell.”
“MoveOn members in Kentucky and across the country are contacting millions of voters to help prevent a Republican takeover of the Senate,” Sheyman continued, “and it makes that important work harder when Democrats embrace inflammatory Republican rhetoric.”
Another left-wing pro-amnesty group, Democracy for America, which was founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, added to the criticism of Grimes. In a statement, executive director Charles Chamberlain said late Tuesday that “[t]he Grimes campaign must take down this offensive ad. It’s simply wrong for any Democrat to use right-wing talking points and dehumanize struggling immigrant families.”
“Democracy for America members have been proud to work with allies to end Mitch McConnell’s 30-year career in Washington and save the Senate from Republican control,” Chamberlain added, “but every moment Secretary Grimes fails to remove this hurtful ad ignores the plight of millions and makes our work more difficult.”
According to communications director Neil Sroka, “Democracy for America is working with allies in Kentucky on a $500,000 field-based campaign focused on defeating Mitch McConnell.”
On August 20, Grimes told a Farm Bureau forum in Kentucky that she would have voted yes on the 2013 Gang of Eight bill, information she did not include in her new ad.
Despite that August statement to the Farm Bureau forum, Grimes sings a different tune at the end of her new ad: “I’m Alison Lundergan Grimes and I approve this message, because I’ve never supported amnesty or benefits for illegal immigrants, and I never will.”
These blue-on-blue attacks toward the Grimes campaign come on the heels of the candidate’s recent refusals to say whether or not she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, a position that NBC’s Chuck Todd says “disqualifies” her to serve in the U.S. Senate.