In latest salvo, Crossroads plays on voters' economic angst [Video]

July 08, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • A new ad from Crossroads GPS opens with an alarm clock showing 3:01 a.m., evoking Hillary Rodham Clinton's famous ad from the 2008 Democratic primaries.
A new ad from Crossroads GPS opens with an alarm clock showing 3:01 a.m.,…

As Americans learn of another lackluster jobs report, a new advertising campaign funded by the conservative Crossroads GPS seeks to capture the nation's anxious mood in making the case against President Obama's economic record (see video below).

The commercial, debuting in targeted markets Friday, features a woman unable to sleep, worrying aloud about her family's future over an ominous chorus. It opens with a digital clock displaying the time -- 3:01 a.m., evoking Hillary Rodham Clinton's famous "3 a.m." ad from the Democratic primary race with Obama in 2008.

Pacing in the middle of the night, the woman says: "I supported President Obama because he spoke so beautifully. But since then, things have gone from bad to much worse."

"He said spending hundreds of billions on a stimulus would create more jobs. But now, all we've got is a lot more debt and more people out of work," she continues.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 9.2%, up from the 9.1% May figure that is shown in the ad.

It's a softer pitch than the first ad of Crossroads' $20-million effort, where Obama's own statements about the economic recovery were challenged by a narrator rattling off statistics about gas prices, unemployment and the national debt.

Crossroads, a group founded by former Bush political aide Karl Rove, calls the newest spot "Phase 2" in its advocacy campaign, with $7 million behind it. It will air on broadcast TV in the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada and Virginia, as well as on national cable outlets.

Alternative versions will run in Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Ohio targeting those states' Democratic senators, who like Obama are seeking reelection in 2012.

"As the debt limit negotiations heat up, we need to counter the power of the president’s bully pulpit and make sure Americans are getting the facts," Steven Law, president of Crossroads GPS, said in a release.

The White House Friday defended Obama's handling of the economy and the stimulus.

"The president acted, the Congress acted, and took measures to halt and reverse the direction that we were headed in.  But if you’re going down like this and you’ve begun to come up, we still have a long way to go," Jay Carney said at his daily briefing.

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