“There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery,” President Barack Obama’s voice says as the camera pans over men and women lying on their backs across a dirt road.
A man in a plaid shirt rolls over. He stands up. In his hands is a sign saying, “I want a job when I graduate.”
“I’m an American. Not a bump in the road,” he says.
One by one, each person lying on the road stands up, holding a sign about unemployment, repeating, “I’m an American. Not a bump in the road.”
The new ad from the Republican National Committee seeks to hit Obama where Americans perceive his weakness to be — in unemployment and economic recovery.
Obama’s management of the economy may be the single biggest obstacle to his re-election, and more than half of Americans disapprove of his economic management, according to a poll from The New York Times/CBS.
But is this fair?
A new report from The Economist suggests that unemployment would have actually been higher without Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package, which Republican outside spending groups have repeatedly referred to as the “failed stimulus.”
“Conservatives say stimulus does not work,” says The Economist. But “most impartial work suggests they are wrong.”
The magazine cites a study from Daniel Wilson of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which found that stimulus spending created or saved 3.4 million jobs, which echoes what the Congressional Budget Office estimated.
In other outside spending news:
- Again taking aim at the president’s record on unemployment, “The Poster” from Crossroads Generation, a conservative super PAC aimed at young voters, shows the evolution of the bedroom of a member of Gen Y, from crib to sports trophies to an Obama poster, while the years tick by. It ends with a 20-something tearing down the poster and telling a friend on the phone, “I’m living with my parents again. There’s just no jobs out there.”
- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported spending $349,000 on ads opposing Republican House candidates and supporting Democratic ones. The DCCC posted four new ads last Wednesday, as the Daily Disclosure reported last week.
- House Majority PAC, which also backs Democrats running for U.S. House, reported spending $280,000 on ads opposing Republican candidates for House: Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, who is running in the state’s 4th District; Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s 5th District; attorney Keith Rothfus in Pennsylvania’s 12th District; and North Carolina state Sen. David Rouzer, who is running in the state’s 7th District.
- “Breaking Down” from House Majority PAC opposes Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., who is running for re-election in Virginia’s 2nd District against Democratic challenger businessman Paul Hirschbiel. The ad is part of a $140,000, two-week buy.
- Joe Coors, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in Colorado’s 7th District, is the subject of “Brew,” from House Majority PAC, which criticizes him for supporting anti-abortion personhood amendments. However, on August 8, Coors’ campaign told the Denver Post that he would no longer support the initiative in Colorado since it has failed in the state twice. Coors faces Democratic incumbent Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
- The Democratic Senatorial Congressional Committee reported spending $211,000 on ads opposing Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who is running for U.S. Senate and against incumbent Democrat Jon Tester and on ads supporting former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, who is running against Rep. Rick Berg, the Republican, for Senate.
- Majority PAC, which also backs Democrats running for U.S. Senate, reported spending $722,000 on ads opposing former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Berg.
- The National Republican Congressional Committee reported spending $573,000 against Democratic candidates for the U.S. House in eight races.
- The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $685,000 on ads opposing Tester in Montana and supporting Berg in North Dakota.
- Conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity bought more airtime at a cost of $2.1 million for its anti-Obama ad “New Ideas” and others, which were released earlier this month.
- “So Many Things,” a new ad, also from Americans for Prosperity, features a disappointed Obama voter. “So many things did not come true,” she says of the president’s 2008 campaign promises.
- The Republican National Committee released a new ad, “We’ve Heard It All Before,” comparing Obama’s speeches in 2008 to speeches made this year, pointing out he has made the same promises. The ad asks, “Are you better off?”
- The conservative Emergency Committee for Israel released “Paul Ryan — For a Stronger America” on Thursday. The ad touts the pro-Israel stance of Rep. Paul Ryan, the running mate of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
- Liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century opposes Romney in “Rubio Makes the Case” by juxtaposing clips of a speech from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with statements about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.
- American Bridge 21st Century also released an ad attacking Richard Mourdock, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Indiana, for claiming to be willing to “work with Republicans and Democrats.” The ad then shows several clips of the candidate displaying his disdain for bipartisanship.
- Florida Freedom PAC, a super PAC supporting Democratic candidates running for federal office in Florida, reported spending more than $615,000 on staff salaries and canvassing expenses supporting Obama, the re-election of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, lawyer Joe Garcia, who is running for U.S. House in Florida’s 26th District, and Patrick Murphy, who faces Republican Rep. Allen West in a hotly contested race for U.S. House in Florida’s 18th District. The super PAC has received major support from the Service Employees International Union.
- New super PACs: Montana Growth Foundation in Red Lodge, Mont., and the Utility Workers Union of America Political-Legislative Education Fund in Washington, D.C.