November 19th, 2010
01:35 PM ET
8 years ago

Stimulus stimulates attack ad spending in midterms

Washington (CNN) - Eighty-two million dollars was spent on television commercials attacking the federal stimulus during this year's midterm election campaign, according to a new analysis of TV ad spending for CNN by Campaign Media Analysis Group.

And no surprise, the vast majority was spent by Republicans on commercials that claimed the stimulus has failed.

"The stimulus package just like the healthcare law was a targeted by the GOP in this year's election. Their candidates took dead aim and in most cases the word 'failed' appeared in front of the word stimulus in campaign ads," says Evan Tracey, CMAG's president and CNN's consultant on TV advertising.

The stimulus, formally known as the Recovery Act, was passed by Congress early last year in a vote that was mostly along party lines. Over the past year Republicans have repeatedly criticized the $862 billion measure for failing to sufficiently create jobs and pump up the economy.

The White House and many Democrats defend the program, saying that without the stimulus unemployment in the country would have been much higher, and that the effects of the recession would have been much more painful.

According to an Associated Press/GfK poll conducted last month, nearly two-thirds questioned said the stimulus had no real effect on the economy or made matters worse, with 32 percent saying the program has helped to bring about economic improvements.

In a separate note, CMAG's new analysis indicates only $4.1 million was spent on ads that mentioned the federal government's bailout of General Motors, which in the late spring of 2009 was considered a very controversial move.

Thursday, President Barack Obama trumpeted the highly anticipated sale of General Motors stock, saying its success proved the wisdom of the automaker's federal bailout last year that he claimed saved over a million jobs.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    The stimulus was nothing but a political payback for the corrupt unions and left wing nut jobs that supported this incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady president using the money of the hardworking taxpayers of this country. The Obamacare bill is another example of this left wing, corrupt payback. Supported by the unions, that are now asking for and receiving exemptions. CNN is not reporting this for some reason. Why is that CNN?

    November 19, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Independent Voter

    Nice picture of the sign in front of a nudie club there CNN.

    November 19, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    And no surprise, the vast majority was spent by Republicans on commercials that claimed the stimulus has failed.
    Claimed? It is a statement of FACT as judged by Obozo and the DemocRATS that said it had to be hurried through without reading it to keep unemployment BELOW 8%!! Unemployment has been stuck at nearly 10% on avergae AND MUCH HIGHER IN SOME PLACES. Obozo has even admitted there was no such thing as a "shovel ready project".

    Obozo and the DEMOcRATS think the American people are stupid and play them for fools. Their arrogance can't allow them to admit the reality of the failed and stimulus, just as they can't admit why they lost on Nov. 2. These idiots are stuck in some make believe world believing their on propaganda. They are a danger to this country.

    November 19, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Marcus

    Yeah it didn't worked... It didn't worked for GM, it didn't worked for firefighters and police departments all over the country... it didn't worked because it had earmarks (THEN CUT THE EARMARKS!!!! Not the law they are attached to!!!!)...
    All this yadda yadda that Republicans says about the Stimulus/Bailout/Recovery Act reminds of that guy who claimed that he had not seen any real effect of the stimulus on his district/neighborhood...
    Until the police officers told him that they would have been forced to fire half the men of his district if not for the stimulus...
    What was his name again?

    November 19, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. kyle

    The stimulus saved America from economic disaster, and saved millions of jobs, unlike the tax cuts for the rich and greedy that did not create any jobs!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    The White House and many Democrats defend the program, saying that without the stimulus unemployment in the country would have been much higher...
    The problem with their argument is that WITH the stimulus unemployment in the country IS higher.

    Do they think that Americans would have supported the $862 billion spending if they would have said up-front that unemployment would only go up to 9.6% if it was approved?!?!? And if it was so successful, why did Obama can his entire team of economic advisors this year?

    November 19, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. AmericansdontrememberorREAD

    Americans simply dont have the education to not only remember the last 2 years or read and understand the despair this country was in. They dont care to learn or critically think..

    November 19, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. beevee

    The gullible americans believed all those GOP lies about failure of the stimulus money in getting the country out of trouble to some extent. The GOP strategy apid off ; they won.

    November 19, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Texas Doc

    Wait till you see how bad they fail. Republicans complain about how government is dysfunctional then they get elected and prove it.

    November 19, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Patty

    Think of all the people hired to make those ads. Stimulus created another stimulus of marketing jobs.

    November 19, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Sgt. Joe

    Yes, and how many believed their lying BS? Now, the target of the GOP is healthcare reform and still, too many people believe their lies and exaggerations to a fever pitch. Insanity at its best. How many jobs were saved at GM? I read a million or so when all's considered (suppliers, manufacturers, etc.). The Dems just don't do enough trumping of their own horn; that's their weakness; wish that would change.

    November 19, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Jim from Va

    Explain how a company(GM)can go bankrupt,wipeout shareholder's equity and give bondholder's pennys on the dollar and then emerge as a stronger company.They are then allowed to issue new stock and the president claims the taxpayer is off the hook.No wonder this president can't get this country economy on the right track !!!

    November 19, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Greg Smith

    And the republican plan was a raging success. Oh, wait a minute, they had/have no plan.

    November 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Ferret out the B.S.

    No one on the conservative side will be happy until there are bread lines a mile long and 25% unemployment. But hey we'll be reducing the deficit by cutting programs and entitlements and no new taxes!

    November 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    "Eighty-two million dollars was spent on television commercials attacking the federal stimulus during this year's midterm election campaign."

    Sources also tell CNN that this $82 million, approximately equal to a trivial 1/100th of ONE percent of the so-named "stimulus" amount, oddly created MORE jobs than the $862 BILLION federal stimulus. When presented with these facts, Vice President Biden, a vocal champion of the program, was quoted as saying, "Who'd have thunk?"

    November 19, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. William Jefferson

    All that money spent on lies. nd almost all going to republicons. In other words, business as usual.

    November 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. W L Jones

    Those $862 billion stimulus package create six trillion no hundred an thirty four billion dollar in economic activity. A way to go Democratic party, we need you, we love you.

    November 19, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Former Republican, now an Independent

    If the republicans were that heartbroken over the economy, they should have invested in the U.S. instead of foreign countries and exhorbitant campaign contributions.

    November 19, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans have slammed stimulous since day one and they were the biggest spenders because they knew Americans would be stupid enough to vote for them. Now those same Americans don't know Republicans won the House.

    November 19, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. CaliforniaBC

    Yet the CBO director stated in January 2010 during congressional testimony that the Stimulus and actions by the Fed reduced the longevity and severity of the recession.

    It's time to stop playing politics with EVERYTHING and get stuff done. Republicans need to learn that compromise does not mean "We want our way or no way" and the Democrats need to learn to communicate in simple terms what is in the bills INCLUDING the Republican ideas that are in the bills that the GOP rail against.

    November 19, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. ChumBucket

    wonder how much that sign cost?

    November 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |