Correction: A previous version of this post referred to Crossroads GPS as a super PAC, when Crossroads GPS is in fact a nonprofit group that is a sister organization to American Crossroads, a Republican super PAC.
They didn't waste any time. Just hours after the latest unemployment statistics came out this morning, Crossroads GPS, a powerful organization backing Mitt Romney, announced its latest $1.8 million ad blitz in Colorado attacking President Barack Obama for his record on -- what else? -- jobs.
The release announcing the "breaking" news of the organization's new campaign points out that the first ad in the series spotlight's the "poor employment report" that came out today.
The group is referring to the monthly update from the Department of Labor, which just announced that the nation's labor market added 80,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent.
This is apparently good content for Crossroads GPS, the sister organization to the wealthy super PAC American Crossroads, which was founded by Karl Rove, chief adviser to former President George W. Bush. Here at Westword, we've spent some time exploring the public files at Denver metro area TV stations, and have found that, thus far, Obama's team has spent significantly more than Romney's campaign locally. Records on broadcasting ad buys at several major stations also revealed that Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing Obama, has spent a lot more than Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Romney.
An important caveat that we noted in our previous coverage is that Crossroads, a second Romney super PAC, had not yet spent any money at broadcast stations when we first reported on the spending discrepancies in mid-June. So while the super PAC for Obama may have been outspending the Romney super PAC at local broadcast stations, today's news confirms that Obama's campaign is up against major spending from his opponent's.
"We're suffering through one of the weakest economic recoveries in our history, and the only thing President Obama is offering is slogans and excuses," Steven Law, president of Crossroads GPS, said in a statement announcing the new ads. "Coloradans are hungering for practical solutions to our skyrocketing debt and flat-lined economy, and that's what we are putting forward in our New Majority Agenda."
Colorado is, of course, a key swing state, which means voters across the state will likely have the great fortune of being bombarded with ads from both presidential campaigns and relevant super PACs now through Election Day.
And just in case you forgot, super PACs are those controversial independent political fundraising committees that technically don't "coordinate" with the candidates they are backing, but are nonetheless shaping up to be key players nationally in the race to raise money and rule the airwaves in the presidential election. Super PACs like American Crossroads can have nonprofit affiliates that raise money and campaign.
Nate Hodson, spokesman for Crossroads, told us this morning that the ads are airing across the state at different stations, though he didn't have an exact breakdown of where the money was being spent.
This ad is part of a first wave of the group's national $25 million effort, starting July 10 and running through early August.
The ad is called "Excuses," and will air in Colorado as well as in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.
"Barack Obama's got lots of excuses for the bad economy," a voiceover in the 30-second ad says before cutting to snippets of out-of-context quotes from the president about various global issues. The ad urges Obama to cut the debt.
This latest ad blitz underscores a theme that Obama's campaign seems to be pushing in its own fundraising efforts -- that Romney and his supporters are very wealthy and may hurt the president's reelection campaign by outspending the incumbent (something celebrity Obama cheerleader Eva Longoria mentioned in her recent visit to Colorado).
Recent e-mails from the Obama campaign have subjects like "I will be outspent," "If we're drastically outspent" and "Take this seriously," often urging supporters to donate $3.
And in the area of jobs, Obama's team tells a very different story, often pointing out that the U.S. economy has added millions of private sector jobs over the last 28 months.
Incidentally, Priorities USA, the super PAC backing Obama, sent out an e-mail today with a 2006 video of Romney where, in response to a question about a lack of job growth, he says that he came in when jobs were falling off a cliff and that it's progress that he's helped Massachusetts come back. The super PAC says it highlights Romney's inconsistencies and hypocrisy.
When contacted about this latest ad blitz, a spokeswoman from Obama's Colorado campaign office forwarded us this statement released today by Ben LaBolt, national press secretary for the campaign, in response to Romney's comments on jobs:
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SHOW ME HOW
The President brought us back from the brink of another Depression but he doesn't believe our work is done - he's got a plan to restore the middle class and create a million jobs now that Mitt Romney opposes and Republican leaders have blocked. Mitt Romney says he has a better path, but over the past decade we saw where that took us -- to the slowest job growth since World War II, the collapse of our financial system and the deterioration of the middle class. In fact, independent economists have concluded his plan wouldn't create one job, wouldn't reduce the deficit one cent, and could lead to another recession. Mitt Romney's economic policies failed before and instead of creating jobs, they would weaken the economy and undermine the middle class.
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