A new Obama campaign ad responds to the attack from a group called the American… (YouTube )
Need any more evidence that the presidential campaign is shifting to general election mode? President Obama's reelection effort just launched its first television ad specifically mentioning its likely GOP foe, Mitt Romney (see ad below).
The new 30-second ad from the Obama campaign concerns a sensitive issue for Democrats: energy prices. And like the campaign’s first ad of 2012, it takes a defensive posture.
"Under President Obama, domestic oil production's at an eight-year high. So why is Big Oil attacking him? Because he’s fighting to end their tax breaks," the ad states.
That's a reference to the paid advertising effort of a group called the American Energy Alliance, which reportedly has ties to the Koch brothers, that focuses on the increased cost of fuel. It criticizes the president for blocking the Keystone Pipeline, and brings up the loan guarantee given to now-bankrupt solar equipment maker Solyndra.
"Tell President Obama we can't afford his failing energy policies," the spot says.
The Obama ad counters that the president is "raising mileage standards, and doubling renewable energy." And then it singles out Romney for having "stood with Big Oil -- for their tax breaks, attacking higher mileage standards and renewables."
"So when you see this ad, remember who paid for it. And what they want," it concludes.
The new ad will run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, according to the campaign. It follows a recent effort by the White House to focus on the president's energy policy, including a trip to Oklahoma to highlight the beginning of construction on the southern portion of the Keystone pipeline.
A previous Obama campaign ad that ran in Michigan did attack Republican presidential candidates as a group for opposing the administration's auto rescue package, and quoted the headline from a 2008 Romney op-ed that said, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." But this new ad is the first to use Romney's name.
The paid advertising effort from the reelection campaign mirrors one of a pro-Obama "super PAC" that also launched Monday.
"Who's behind this ad smearing President Obama? Big Oil, that’s who," the ad from Priorities USA Action says. "The money they make from high gas prices is going right into Mitt Romney’s campaign. Big Oil executives have pledged two hundred million to help him. And Mitt Romney’s pledged to protect their record profits."
The two entities are barred from coordinating their efforts.
The Republican National Committee said the Obama campaign's ad is a sign of "panic." The Romney campaign responded that it's "no surprise President Obama is spending his soon-to-be $1 billion war chest to attack Mitt Romney and deflect blame for his failure to control gas prices."