Democratic Fighter Pilot Smacks Down GOP Congressman in Battle for House Seat: 'What Sacrifice Have You Ever Made for Our Country?'

Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) now finds himself in his first truly competitive race since taking office in 2012. And he is now facing stiff competition from his Democratic opponent, former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.

But Barr's newest attempt to attack McGrath is not going well. And it ended with her hitting back in full force.

In a new attack ad posted on Monday morning, Barr splices together clips of McGrath saying "Hell yeah, I'm a feminist," with other clips of her calling herself "progressive" and "pro-choice," apparently taking it as self-evident that voters in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District will reject a candidate who is unafraid of these labels.

McGrath was quick to reply to the spot.

"When you can't run on your record, this is all you got," she tweeted at Barr. "I sat on a runway on Sept 11 with missiles strapped to my F-18 awaiting POTUS orders to shoot down civilian aircraft to defend our homeland. What sacrifice have you ever made for our country over your party?"

Barr, who votes with Trump's agenda over 96 percent of the time, including to support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP's massive package of tax cuts for corporations and billionaires, is a top target for Democrats in the 2018 cycle.

McGrath, the first woman to fly an F/A-18 in a combat mission, was propelled into national prominence, and to victory in the Democratic nomination, by a viral ad about her military service and her triumph over those who told her she would never make it.

Kentucky's 6th District, which covers the central portion of the state including the cities of Lexington and Frankfort, is in normal years a very conservative seat. Trump carried the district by double digits. But an internal poll taken in late April found McGrath leading Barr by 15 points.

McGrath has made clear that she has no intention of backing down from her values. And she will not be intimidated by Barr's attempts to tarnish what she stands for.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.