President Obama’s reelection campaign is launching a major television advertising campaign this week, according to Los Angeles Times, effectively kicking off the general election even beforeÂ RepublicansÂ have settled on a nominee.
The ad, entitled âUnprecedented,â is a defensive spot that focuses on Mr. Obamaâs record on clean energy initiatives and jobs, while criticizing ads from Republican groups the ad says are funded by âsecretive oil billionaires,â reports The Wall Street Journal.
The 30-second ad is running in Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, all swing states.
The president will then travel next week to some of the states where the ads were purchased, including Iowa and Michigan.
There was no immediate word from the campaign as to how much money was behind the spot.
The spot specifically targets the Koch brothersâ group Americans for Prosperity. It defends Mr. Obama on questions raised about a loan his administration gave to the now-defunct solar energy company Solyndra. âPresident Obama. Kept his promise to toughen ethics rulesâŚâ a voice-over says.
It is unusual for an incumbent to begin airing commercials so early in the process. For example, in 2004,Â President George W. Bush’s campaign started running television ads in March.
Obama campaign official said in the statement that the president will not respond to every attack from a âsuper PAC,â but decided to now because: âThe Republican candidates, Karl Rove and the Koch brothers spent more than $30 million on TV attacking the President last year, yet President Obama is competitive ahead of Mitt Romney or neck and neck with him in every single battleground state across the map, before any education has been done about Mitt Romneyâs record.â
âThe Koch brothers provided us with an opportunity,â the official said, âwhen Americans hear that their attack ad is funded by oil executives who oppose the presidentâs plan to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies and oppose investment in clean energy to keep America running on oil, itâs immediately clear to them that the attack isnât credible.â
Such an early early start of the campaign reflects the expectation amongÂ DemocratsÂ that former Massachusetts Gov.Â Mitt RomneyÂ will ultimately emerge as the GOP challenger, as well as the need to bolster the president’s standing after weathering a barrage of attacks throughout the primary process.
The Republican National CommitteeÂ spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a statement: âYou know President Obama is in trouble when instead of addressing jobs in his first campaign ad, heâs on defense about failed promises on energy. But which failed promise is Obama defensive about?”
“After promising to create green jobs, Obamaâs reality includes preventing 20,000 jobs from being created with the Keystone Pipeline and millions of taxpayer dollars lost because of his Solyndra green energy failures. Either way itâs clear Americans are fed up with this presidentâs failed promises and will see through the campaign of empty rhetoric,â he added.
Mr. Obama has been frequently hit by advertising from Republican groups and has been a frequent target of GOP presidential candidates as they have campaigned in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.