Obama campaign seeks to frame the narrative with new ads
May 7th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama campaign seeks to frame the narrative with new ads

(CNN) – The Obama campaign launched Monday the first in a series of positive ads aimed at highlighting the president's record on such issues as the economy and foreign policy.

Called "Go," the first ad begins and ends by addressing voters' concerns about the economy, reminding Americans that President Obama inherited an economic mess from the previous administration. The one-minute spot makes the case that Obama's policies have helped middle-class Americans and will continue to do more in the future.

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"Some said our best days were behind us, but not him," the narrator says before the ad cuts to Obama appearing at an auto industry bailout event saying, "Don't bet against the American worker."

The ad claims the American auto industry "is back" - a message meant to appeal to voters in in the manufacturing industry in states like Michigan and Ohio.

The ad also touts the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden - "our greatest enemy brought to justice by our greatest heroes" - and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq with a picture of a little girl running into her father's arms at his homecoming. Military families are among the groups the campaign is trying to woo.

On a conference call with reporters Monday, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said the campaign will spend $25 million on ads in May, adding that the campaign is also prepared to "respond to the attacks" from Team Romney and the super PACs supporting his candidacy.

On Sunday, Axlerod brushed off Romney accusations that the president is running away from his record, saying in an appearance on ABC's "This Week" that the "extensive ad campaign" would show "where we were and where we've come and things we've accomplished."

Axelrod added that the ads will show "many other things that we're proud of and that show the progress we've made since the president has been elected."

In the portion of the ad the Romney campaign is likely to seize upon, the narrator touts job growth as one of Obama's accomplishments.

"Instead of losing jobs we're creating them. Over 4.2 million so far. We're not there yet. it's still too hard for too many. But we're coming back," the narrator says.

In the most recent jobs report released Friday, unemployment dropped to 8.1% in April in part because more than 340,000 Americans dropped out of the workforce - a fact the Romney campaign was quick to point out. The campaign released over the weekend its own video critical of the president's economic record, pointing to the weak numbers in the jobs report and saying "Obama isn't working."

“Americans will hear a lot from President Obama in the coming months, but what they won’t hear from him is the fact that his policies have wreaked havoc on the middle class," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement."

She added: "After a doubling of gas prices, declining incomes, millions of foreclosures, and record levels of unemployment, Americans know they’re not better off than they were four years ago. Mitt Romney’s pro-growth agenda will get America back on track and stop the middle-class squeeze of the Obama economy."

The Obama campaign is seeking to combat that kind of message by building a counter-narrative with ads like the one released Monday.

The campaign is trying to tell a story about the economy and the recovery - arguing things would have been far worse without Obama in the White House. Offering data to show conditions are improving, the campaign argues that the trend will continue for the middle class if Obama remains in office.

At his campaign rallies in Ohio and Virginia on Saturday, Obama said Romney "doesn't get" how to help the middle class. The new campaign spot offers a positive spin on the message, saying Obama is fighting to defend middle-class Americans.

The ad concludes with the narrator saying: "America's greatness comes from a strong middle class. Because you don't give up. And neither does he."

Some of the president's most senior advisers say their research shows that even many undecided voters believe Obama works hard and is trying to do his best. The ad's conclusion seems to be playing into that sentiment.

The ad will be released early this week in the key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

A campaign spokesperson says it will be a "substantial" ad buy and more positive ads will follow.

Also see:

Romney adviser left after being silenced, source says

Ayotte: I'm more qualified than Obama

Gingrich steps up support for Romney, predicts Mourdock wins in Indiana


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. CBR

    No doubt that the economy was in a mass four years ago. We were fighting a war which took billions of dollars to finance. Clearly President Bush and his administration never funded it properly. We woke up one morning trillions of dollars in debt because we spent more than we made. Wars are not cheap and President Obama took over a countlry deeply in debt and fighting an undeclared war.

    May 7, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. Jerry

    He and his equally clueless administration really mean "backwards." How much more divisive divisive can this man get?!

    Stay tuned...

    May 7, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  3. fred ca

    Not all that new. Same old base...'Look, a pony...holding a shiny object'.

    May 7, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  4. Blindersoff

    Go Get em Native son of America, let the world see and know your good deeds and the steady power and leadership of these United States of America . . . "America, To Great To Fail" And yes we are much better off then we were 4 years ago! Period.

    May 7, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  5. gung hoe

    Obama will frame anything or anybody about anything,just as long as he dont have to accept responsibity or shed the blame on someone else.To make himself look perfect.The smart people can see right thru his lies.Heck even the pathalogical liers shake their heads in envy!!

    May 7, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  6. gung hoe

    Hes a pathalogical lier.Will frame anybody about anything,just to make himself look better.The smart people can see right thru his lies!!

    May 7, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  7. king

    Obama needs to take on Congress and force them to start modernizing America, let them say no when the election is just around the corner at their own petrol. The repubs mantra that government cannot create jobs, only the private enterprise can. When Obama went around the world during the great recession, these repubs charge him for wasting airforce one gas, racking up its hermileage, and charging the president for treason for apologizing and appeasing other country. Obama did this to create private businesses in America to be the most successful in America, so they can hire American, which they now are, but they still are not hiring, because they have the repubs to protect them anytime they get criticized, shouting class warfare, and blaming the president. Obama need to say hell with these repubs who had sworned to distroy our country, in a meeting while this president was being annaugorated, and start pushing for modernization of America by taxing the rich to clinging tax rate era.

    May 7, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  8. Dj Rhyme

    Please label Romney as the "mad republican" that's mad about your hard wrk n strong achievemnts. Mad that you and not him is moving this country forward in the right direction.

    May 7, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  9. Guess What

    Its Called Go, which means Go Away Obama, you have done enough damage, but if you push your luck, you may get the revolution you want, but you will not like the outcome, with the growth of a new group, call PAO, People Against Obama.

    May 7, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I imagine that the right wingnuts are not going to be happy that President Obama uses the truth to counter Mittens lies.

    May 7, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  11. Joe

    He should be charge with copyright law's...the last person to us "Forward" was Hitler.

    May 7, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Why do republicans think that a person can only be an effective president if he was asleep on the job for 9-11, started two wars without paying for them, gave even bigger tax cuts to the wealthy, gave bigger tax breaks to big oil, gave $775 billion to Wall Street and big banks, created a near depression, and ruined America's image throughout the world?

    May 7, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  13. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    Wait, don't the poutraged mental defectives on the right like stamp their feet and claim President Obama "can't" or "won't" run on his record an that he'd instead try to "divert" our attention? Next time you hear another looney toon GOBP cultmember start ranting, remind them of this.

    May 7, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  14. Nicholas

    And they said he couldn't run on his record. Yet again this President proves them wrong. I am proud of our president. He has been a fighter from day one. He never said he was going to fix things overnight, heck, Bush took eight years to mess things up! I am proud of his accomplishments. Imagine what things could have been like if he didn't have to deal with the republican party whose only purpose of existence since 2008 has been to deny him a second term. But the American people are not stupid. Don't bet against the American people.

    May 7, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  15. Gurgyl

    Test from Pakistan, he wins. Obama12.

    May 7, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |