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Americans for Prosperity launches $5.5-million attack on Obama

June 20, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • A screenshot of the new ad from Americans for Prosperity, which focuses on Obama's "doing fine" remark.
A screenshot of the new ad from Americans for Prosperity, which focuses… (Americans For Prosperity…)

WASHINGTON -- Americans for Prosperity, the prominent 501(c)(4) nonprofit that has funded a series of attack ads on President Obama’s policies since last fall, announced a new $5.5-million campaign Wednesday aimed at several battleground states.

The ad, titled “Doing Fine,” seeks to capitalize on Obama’s recent remark that “the private sector’s doing fine,” which the president has since clarified. The ad will air for 10 days in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and, in a new addition to Prosperity’s advertising targets, Pennsylvania. Each will be a crucial flashpoint for Mitt Romney and Obama’s respective campaigns come November.

Tim Phillips, president of AFP, said the addition of Pennsylvania wasn’t motivated by polling or political evaluations, but because it’s “really taking a beating, especially on the manufacturing side.” Pennsylvania’s current unemployment rate of 7.5% is lower than the national average of 8.2%.

With the $5.5-million ad buy, AFP has now spent $20 million since first attacking Obama with an ad focusing on Solyndra last fall. Phillips expects that amount to reach approximately $100 million by the time the election’s through, up from roughly $51 million in 2011 and $40 million in 2010.

The new campaign, Phillips said, is reflective of the organization’s philosophy of targeting voters “early and often.”

“We look at return investment, how much our dollars will be able to impact citizens on these issues,” he said, adding that AFP is currently able to push their narrative “in a way that’s harder to do in September or August” because of increased competition.

The ad comes the day after the pro-Romney “super PAC” Restore our Future announced its own ad attacking the president for the “doing fine” remark. Restore our Future’s $7-million buy overlaps with all of AFP’s targeted states, in addition to New Hampshire and Iowa. Both ads began airing Wednesday.

Phillips said he has not seen Restore our Future’s ad, and said “we’re not coordinating or talking to that entity.”

Compare AFP’s ad to Restore our Future’s below.

morgan.little@latimes.com

twitter.com/mlittledc

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