Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is going on the air Friday with its first general election season ad, CNN has learned.
The campaign has bought at least $1.2 million worth of TV time in the battleground states of Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa and Virginia, according to a Republican ad-buying source not affiliated with the campaign.
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During a media availability Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida, Romney previewed the media campaign.
"I certainly hope that you'll get a chance to see our first ad - that will come up in a couple of days. It will be a positive ad about the things that I will do if I am president," Romney told reporters.
The campaign has purchased $506,000 worth of broadcast time in Ohio, $354,000 in North Carolina, $209,000 in Iowa and $187,000 in Virginia, according to the ad source.
A spokeswoman for the campaign refused comment on its ad plans.
On Thursday, Romney criticized the Obama reelection campaign's recent two-minute commercial describing a steel plant bought by the private equity firm Bain Capital as a "character assassination ad."
The spot featured the story of GST Steel, which was acquired while Romney headed Bain and included interviews with workers blaming him and the private equity firm for the job losses when the steel manufacturer went bankrupt. Romney, however, had already left Bain when the bankruptcy occurred.
The reelection campaign only spent about $64,000 in five battleground states for that commercial, which aired Wednesday night, but the Obama team was able to generate much free media from coverage of the ad's release.
President Barack Obama's team is separately airing about $22 million of ads in nine battleground states this month: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia.
One of those spots highlights some of the Obama administration's accomplishments, from the auto industry bailout to the Osama bin Laden mission to creating 4.2 million jobs. It also tries to paint a positive picture of the future, saying, "We're not there yet ... it's still too hard for too many. But we're coming back ... America's greatness comes from a strong middle class. Because you don't quit. And neither does he."
While this will be the Romney camp's first ad since he became the presumptive Republican nominee, he is being aided by tens of millions of dollars either spent in last several weeks or being spent in the coming weeks by such GOP-aligned super PACs as Crossroads GPS, American Future Fund and Restore Our Future-all devoting resources in the key battleground states.
Those PACs have aired a combination of spots criticizing Obama as well as highlighting Romney's biography.
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He has no policies, kind of hard to run with no policies, of course he will change is policies on who he is talking too. He did that in MASS and won't change.
Here we go again with the so-called presidential election. It should be a tip-off to everyone when the press mentions "battleground states" that, unless you live in one of those few places, your vote is totally meaningless. Rob-money is spending in 4 states, out of 50. So, he's totally unconcerned with the populations in 46 states. They're all taken care of. The people of a handful of states will determine who is president. If the turnout is only 40% or 50% in Texas, Rob-money will still win the state's huge number of electors, no matter how many actual votes he gets.
Am I the only one who's sick of a disenfranchising, antiquated presidential electoral system? Am I the only one who wants direct election of president and vice president? Why does a vote count in Florida but not in Texas? I want my say at the polls, not just in a meaningly CNN blog!
If he is standiing front and center of the crowd it isn't very big