LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The campaign for Democratic Senate challenger Bruce Lunsford launched sharp criticism against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on his national security record Wednesday, a day before the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Mitch McConnell says the right things, but when it came time to vote for security, he consistently opted to put partisanship over country," said Lunsford campaign spokesman Cary Stemle. "If we were to grade McConnell on the central question - Is America safer today? - McConnell gets an 'F."'
McConnell campaign manager Justin Brasell quickly denounced Lunsford's claims as "misguided" and accused the challenger of trying to politicize the anniversary.
"Sen. McConnell takes a back seat to no one when it comes to protecting the homeland," Brasell said.
Lunsford's criticism brought national security to the forefront in the increasingly bitter race between the Louisville businessman and McConnell, who is seeking a fifth Senate term in the November election. Much of the campaign has focused on high gas prices and arguments between the candidates on their energy policies.
Both campaigns sifted through McConnell's vast voting record in seeking to prove their points about the senator's handling of national security matters.