Democratic Sen. Donnelly Uses Trump’s Praise for Him in New Ad

Indiana senator is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., released a new ad showing President Donald Trump praising him as he signed the Right to Try Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite being mocked by President Donald Trump in his home state of Indiana, Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is using footage of the president praising him in a new campaign ad.

The ad highlights Trump praising the vulnerable incumbent’s support of the Right to Try Act as Trump signed it into law.

The ad also features Jordan McLinn, who has a terminal illness, and his mother Laura, who are both from Indiana, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Laura McLinn praises Donnelly for listening to them and supporting the legislation.

“We get to save lives, and what could be better than that,” Donnelly says in the ad.

Donnelly supported the law that allows terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The video shows Trump shaking Donnelly’s hand and saying “Thank you very much.”

The ad provides a contrast from when Trump was in Indiana for a rally in May, in which he dubbed the Democratic senator with the epithet of “Sleepin’ Joe.”

Donnelly is in a tough re-election race in a state where Trump has close ties.

Trump clinched his victory for the Republican nomination in 2016 when he won the Indiana primary.

Vice President Mike Pence is a former governor of of the state and his brother Greg Pence is the Republican candidate for the state’s 6th District in November.

Trump also beat Hillary Clinton in the general election by almost 20 points in 2016.

Donnelly is set to face former state legislator and businessman Mike Braun in November.

Braun's campaign spokeman criticized Donnelly for the ad, saying Donnelly still opposed Trump's tax cuts and supported former President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law and the Iran nuclear agreement, from which Trump withdrew the United States.

"Hoosiers know Democrat Senator Donnelly does not stand with them, he stand with his liberal leadership and their unprecedented effort to block President Trump’s agenda," Josh Kelley said.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Indiana’s Senate race Toss Up.

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