The 2012 presidential election is now less than 18 months away! You know what that means: it’s time for political attack ads.
Priorities USA Action, a new group founded last month by two former aides to President Obama, got the ball rolling Friday with what is thought to be the first major campaign commercial of the 2012 election. The television spot focuses on Mitt Romney’s support for a controversial GOP plan to overhaul Medicare, but it also tweaks Newt Gingrich for his recent criticism of the proposal.
The ad will air in South Carolina in advance of Romney’s upcoming visit to the state. Priorities USA Action, which was founded in part to combat deep-pocketed Republican groups like American Crossroads, is promising the ad will be the first in an expensive series of TV spots aimed at GOP contenders.
According to the New York Times, the ad signals the new group’s intention to “work as something of a roving hit squad” during the campaign. “As an independent group, it is unencumbered by the political sensitivities that a candidate has to worry about, and is free to pick its shots as long as it can afford them,” the paper notes.
The Huffington Post breaks down the ad:
The ad contains a lot to unpack, including using Gingrich as a wedge for Republicans. … Beyond Gingrich, however, the ad's use of health care as a campaign issue marks a dramatic 180-degree shift from the 2010 cycle, in which Democrats acted almost universally defensive regarding the president's signature law. And on a more basic level, the move by Priorities USA Action – signaling the rise of Democratic-leaning third-party entities – is a significant new development.
Romney’s camp, of course, quickly fired back. “President Obama’s first campaign ad is an attack ad,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul told Politico. “President Obama and his team are desperate to change the subject to anything other than jobs and the millions of Americans out of work. With 9.6 percent unemployment in South Carolina, voters are looking for a jobs plan, not a smear campaign.”
Check out the ad for yourself below: