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Thursday, July 7, 2011

American Crossroads on the Attack

At Fox, Wes Barrett reports:
A Republican advocacy group, channeling a Hollywood movie preview, released a stinging web video Wednesday that criticizes President Obama for using rhetoric to "scare the nation" about spending cuts and suggests despite his assertion that he has been leading on debt and deficit negotiations, the president is out-of-touch on the issue.

American Crossroads, a 527 group that supports conservative, federal candidates, unveiled the video Wednesday as debt negotiations steam toward an August deadline while, at the same time, the 2012 campaign season begins to heat up. It juxtaposes audio and video clips of Obama to swipe at his leadership in the negotiations.

Cut with clips from last week's White House press conference in which Obama discusses potential cuts to medical research, college scholarships and food safety programs, the voice in the video says, "When things don't go his way... He'll say what it takes... to scare a nation," in a rather scary tone of its own.

At MSNBC, Karl Rove writes:
Paul Begala's faux-praise in The Daily Beast last week of my work with American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS was amusing and revealing. He's been recruited by Team Obama to help counter Crossroads GPS's $20 million advocacy campaign about the debt ceiling that is running in 10 states and on national cable. The first GPS ad is up, backed with $5 million.

Begala's piece was amusing because he said he's invoking my name to raise money from rich (and terrified) Democrats to help President Obama. “Even the most disenchanted Democrat gets motivated to fight back” when told Karl Rove is active on the other side, Begala crows. Problem is, the early results of his strategy aren't so good.

Begala's group, Priorities USA, says it will respond to our $20 million blitz with (wait for it)… $750,000 in ads. As of Friday, the group had placed less than $490,000 in five states. On some level, I guess I should be flattered that Begala thinks I'm a big help to his efforts for Mr. Obama, but aren't the results sort of pathetic?

At The Washington Post, Dan Eggen writes:

The Campaign Finance Institute, which tracks money in politics, calculated in a recent study that independent groups spent nearly $300 million in the 2010 elections, more than double the amount spent in 2008. Michael Malbin, the group’s executive director, said the loosened climate is reminiscent of the Watergate era, which led to a series of wide-ranging overhauls.

“If you want to know what the 2012 campaign is going to look like, you have to look back 40 years — to 1972,” Malbin said. “These groups are functioning almost the way party groups used to function.”

The first major ad buy came a week ago by Crossroads GPS, a nonprofit advocacy group founded with the support of GOP operative Karl Rove. The group began a $5 million campaign of television and radio ads in 10 states tied to the ongoing debate about the federal debt ceiling.

“Fourteen million out of work,” a narrator says. “America drowning in debt. It’s time to take away Obama’s blank check.”

Crossroads GPS President Steven Law said that although the ad “might have some resonance into next year,” it is aimed primarily at influencing the debt-limit debate. “We’re definitely working to shape how the president is perceived, because how he is perceived will have a huge impact on how this issue is resolved,” he said.