Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Mike Franken launches first general election TV ad in race against U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley - Admiral Mike Franken for Iowa

Mike Franken launches first general election TV ad in race against U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley

Democrat Mike Franken is launching his first campaign ad of the general election as he seeks to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The ad, called “Truth to Power,” began airing Tuesday. It focuses on Franken’s military background and highlights examples in which he disagreed with presidents from both political parties.

“I know a thing or two about speaking truth to power,” Franken says in the ad. “I served nearly 40 years in the military, earning the rank of three star admiral. For President Bush, I was that one person to speak out against the Iraq invasion. For President Obama, I challenged an outdated system to improve our intelligence.”

Franken has frequently highlighted his opposition to the Iraq War, and his campaign website says “Franken was the only voice on a team of military advisers to oppose George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.”

Later in the ad, Franken shifts to criticize “corporate special interests.”

“I approve this message because corporate special interests are ripping off Iowa families,” he says in the ad. “We need a senator who doesn’t take their money and isn’t afraid to speak truth to power.”

The campaign will spend about $160,000 to air the ad in the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids markets.

Franken has been traveling around the state, seeking to build support as he takes on Grassley, who is seeking his eighth term in the U.S. Senate.

Fundraising reports show Franken outraised Grassley in the most recent filing period, but Grassley had $4 million in the bank as of June 30 compared to Franken’s $1.1 million.

In a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll from July, Grassley led Franken by eight percentage points, 47% to 39%, among likely voters. While Grassley held the lead, the margin was narrower than in any Iowa Poll since Grassley was first elected to the Senate in 1980.

More:Chuck Grassley holds 8-point lead over Mike Franken in US Senate race, Iowa Poll finds

Franken completed a 99 county tour of Iowa on Saturday with a rally in New Hartford — Grassley’s hometown.

Grassley’s campaign criticized Franken ahead of the rally for previously calling New Hartford “one of the most depressing small towns I’ve seen in Iowa.”

“Mike Franken insults New Hartford, Iowa calling it ‘depressing,’ and then comes here to beg for votes,” Michaela Sundermann, Grassley’s communications director, said in a statement. “The hypocrisy is laughable and Franken’s comments are a poke in the eye to every hard-working Iowan in rural America.”

Grassley is scheduled to complete his own annual 99 county tour Tuesday afternoon with a town hall in Bedford.

Tuesday was the first day for voters to request absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 election.

ELECT FRANKEN FOR U.S. SENATE

If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately: