In his first campaign ad of the season, which will begin running Thursday, President Obama is going on the defense, targeting millionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who run the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. It is unusual to begin running ads so early, but this is a reflection of the new reality political campaigns face in an era in which super PACs can spend unlimited amounts of money from anonymous sources to devastate the opposition.
Americans for Prosperity, American Crossroads and other conservative groups have already spent tens of millions of dollars in advertising against Obama in the past several months. The Koch brothers’ group announced this week plans for a $6 million national advertising campaign against Obama, including an ad that focuses on Solyndra, the solar power company that filed for bankruptcy after receiving $535 million in federal funding supported by the administration.
Titled “Unprecedented,” Obama’s ad defends the president’s record on clean energy and jobs and criticizes ads sponsored by the Kochs, although it doesn’t reference them by name. It will air in the battleground states of Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The ad opens with a narrator citing "secretive billionaires attacking President Obama with ads fact-checkers say are not tethered to the facts." It also touts 2.7 million clean energy jobs the administration says have been created while reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil, calling Obama's record on ethics "unprecedented."
The ad ends with the voiceover, "President Obama. Kept his promise to toughen ethics rules and strengthen America's energy economy."
The ad comes a day after Obama's decision to reject temporarily construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, which would run from Canada through Texas and Congressional Republicans argue would create thousands of jobs, because of environmental and public safety concerns.
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(Photo: Barack Obama Campaign 2012)