Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) highlighted recent chaos overtaking Democrat-run cities across the country in his first campaign ad, calling the toppling of statues and harassment of police "simply unbelievable."
"The mobs have come for our founders and our heroes—Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln," McConnell says in the ad. "When the dust settles, it is never the mobs or the bullies that we honor. It is the brave leaders who confront them."
The ad is McConnell's first in his general election battle since Amy McGrath captured the Democratic nomination on Tuesday. McConnell's position is widely embraced by American voters. Just 24 percent and 25 percent of Americans support removing statues of Washington and Jefferson, respectively, according to a June Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.
The Kentucky Republican's focus on ongoing lawlessness across the U.S. could spell trouble for McGrath as she attempts to win back the more than 230,000 voters who backed progressive state legislator Charles Booker in the state's Democratic primary. The Booker campaign surged amid anti-police protests in Louisville and beyond, and McGrath faced criticism for failing to attend a demonstration before a June 1 debate.
McConnell's ad shows footage of defaced and destroyed statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ulysses S. Grant. It also criticizes Democratic governors and mayors who "stood down and watched criminals spray paint churches, topple statues, and harass police."
"A large statue of Vladimir Lenin remains, while our own founding fathers are dragged through the dirt," McConnell says. "Americans know that our imperfect nation built by imperfect heroes is still the most perfect union the world has ever seen."
Republican lawmakers across the country are going on offense against those seeking to overturn statues. The Republican Attorneys General Association released a new ad criticizing Democratic capitulation on public monuments. The ad features headlines about vandalism and images of Mount Rushmore—which the Democratic National Committee recently referred to as a "white supremacist" symbol.
"It’s absurd to think Democrats could be offended by Mount Rushmore or the Fourth of July," RAGA executive director Adam Piper said in a statement. "Today’s cancel culture has absolutely nothing to do with promoting equality or ensuring domestic tranquility and everything to do with creating division and destroying anything and everything lawless liberals think they might hate. Today, their targets are our founding fathers, our flag, and public safety."
McGrath, who did not return a request for comment, limped to a narrow primary win Tuesday after outspending Booker 40-to-1 in one of the most expensive primary campaigns in history. The establishment-backed candidate has been successful at wooing financial support from liberals eager to take down the sitting GOP Senate leader. McGrath currently holds $19 million on hand to McConnell's $15 million.