Empty Oval Office featured in anti-Obama ad
October 4th, 2012
10:57 AM ET
2 years ago

Empty Oval Office featured in anti-Obama ad

(CNN) - The Oval Office sits empty while violence erupts in the Arab world in a new ad from the conservative group American Future Fund.

The ad cites reports that President Barack Obama has missed a significant number of his daily national security briefings. The White House spokesman disputed those reports after they were published in September - the distinction being in-person briefings versus the written presidential daily briefing.

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"President Obama skips 50% of his national security briefings," the narrator says. "September 11, 2012: Our ambassador is murdered, U.S. embassies under attack."

The president, the ad says, skipped his national security briefing the next day to "attend a fundraiser in Vegas."

The questions about the president missing intelligence briefings were raised by Republicans shortly after foreign policy success was a theme at the Democratic National Convention.

The ad also shows footage of Obama on ABC's "The View," then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while the narrator says Obama was "too busy to meet with our closest ally in the region."

Sources told CNN in September that the White House turned down a meeting request when Obama and Netanyahu were in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting last week. The White House also disputed those reports.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that Obama has missed national security briefings.

"He gets it every day, okay? The President of the United States gets the presidential daily briefing every day," Carney told reporters on September 10. "There is a document that he reads every day when he is not - well, he always reads it every day because he's a voracious consumer of all of his briefing materials. And when he is physically here, most days he has a meeting in his office, the Oval one with participants in his national security team."

The group says it is spending $343,000 to run the ad in Iowa through October 10. Earlier this week it announced it was expanding a $500,000 ad buy in Minnesota by $483,000 for a spot on the economy which will also run through October 10.

Iowa, with six electoral votes, is one of the nine toss up states on the CNN Electoral Map, while Minnesota is one of 14 states rated as safely in Obama's column.

In a statement announcing the ad buy, AFF Founder Nick Ryan said that Obama's "disregard for our national security is alarming."

"Not only are Americans asking if we can afford four more years of his crippling tax and spend policies – now they are wondering 'are we safe?'" he said. "It's time for real leadership at home and abroad."

– CNN's Gregory Wallace, Ashley Killough, and Peter Hamby contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Benjamin Netanyahu • Iowa • President Obama • White House
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. gt

    very sad if true....

    October 4, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    Ya can't lead from behind a desk! I rate this ad: Epic Fail.

    October 4, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. rosco

    Jobs claim on the rise again, Lybia & Turkey going at it, no new jobs in sight THERE IS GOOD NEWS
    Romney 1 win 0 loss
    Bammy 0 win 1 loss

    October 4, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Riazzo

    and my empty chair remains in my front yard!

    October 4, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Ind.

    Obama was SCHOOLED in the truth last night.

    ROMNEY / RYAN 2012

    October 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. truth hurts

    The only thing Obama has led in four years is the charge around the golf course. He possesses NO leadership skills which is very evident in his dealings with Congress. We saw a REAL leader last night in Romney. The guy is a take charge person that gets things done. No leading from behind with Romney.

    October 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    While I'm disappointed in President Obama's lackluster performance last night and his not calling out his challenger's lies, it won't change my vote.

    His challenger did nothing more than parrot slogans from his campaign commercials. Granted, with months of rehearsal he was able to pull it off flawlessly and may have won over a few low-information undecideds. However, his words amounted to warmed over rehashed talking points that provided no specifics and amounted to a bunch of nothing, and at times he sounded whiney and desparate.

    October 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Borderless

    Obama's lack of leadership came into sharp focus last night as he failed to assert himself when facing his opponent. It simply can not be argued that he was too busy being president to adequately prepare for this debate. The act of being president should have adequately prepared him for this debate. In a way, some of the blame lies with the press. Clearly Obama showed last night that he was not used to being held accountable and that's because the press has generally been very forgiving. The question is, is it too late for Obama to develop some strength? I think it is. He should have had four years to develop arguments that supported his agenda. If he doesn't have them by now, he's done.

    October 4, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Gurgyl

    ......this picture was when we had WBush as our president. Now it is leading.
    PS: mitt last night lies...no substantial facts to stand on.

    October 4, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. usa

    Obama exposed – Round one. Round two – foreign policy.

    October 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    No story here. Baseless attack. You want to talk about national security briefings? Really! Here's one for you: BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S.

    October 4, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Should have voted for McCain!

    The office looks like Obama did last night lonely and forlorn. Where was the President? Even Chris Matthews asked that question? And what about the tweet from Bill Mahr? These are obvious supporters! Open your eyes people! I have. I will not repeat the same error I made in 2008. Even John McCain would have had more spunk!!!

    October 4, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. jinx88

    It over if Mittens cant change OH and PA from a 7 point deficit. Obama will get his 270 electoral votes. Fact!!

    October 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. Gimmeabreak!

    We have ALL known it for years - Obama is an empty suit without his teleprompter. In addition, he is a spoiled, petulant child who LOVES being president but NEVER does his homework. What a loser - get him outta here!

    October 4, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. yasmine

    the person who regret no voting for Mccain... tell the truth.. you didn't vote for McCain because of Palin...
    come clean..

    As for last nights debate..Romney gave it all got..and he won on LIES

    October 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. truth hurts

    Said it before and I'll say it again.... Obama is in it for the celebrity aspect, nothing more. Other than a good teleprompter speech, he's got NOTHING.

    October 4, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. judy

    People dont see whats in front of their eyes. Obama let Romney grandstand in front of millions of people. Its like watching Garfield the cat with Opie the dog who runs around jumping around making a a lot of noise and being a pest whle Garfield just looks at him and wonders. Romney didnt win anything with those who are like me who like to observe and wait. He has flip flopped all over the place and hasnt really said anything. Obama is smart and an observer. We have to always observe and watch instead of listening to others making decicions for us. Im still waiting and watching until election day. Which of the candidates?? Not sure yet.

    October 4, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. GI Joe

    We don't need no stinkin' Mormon Bishop pushing his religion down our throats from that chair.

    Romney blatantly lied. He has said $5 T over and over and over, and last night denied it.

    Romney either lied to us last night or he has been lying to us for the last 6 months. Which was it? he didn't say the same thing that he's been saying. I don't trust him?

    Romney admitted he ships jobs overseas – he says he has never gotten a break for doing that.

    Romney was a fast-talking two-faced used-car salesman that bullied everyone. Not fit for world stage. Definitely.

    October 4, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. CryBabies

    I guess Clint Eastwoods "empty chair" was close to being spot on. Gurgyl.....come up with some new material...your bias needs some new clothes.

    October 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    This very conservative restaurant that supports only republicans has every sign up in front of their restaurant every political season. This year I see they have George Allen and Scott Rigell billboards up, but no sign whatsover of a Romney/Ryan billboard. Last presidential election they had a huge "Virginia is McCain Country" sign up. That says alot to me about how real conservatives feel about Robmey.

    October 4, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. w l jones

    Well well by comparison one person on the job twentyfour seven other do not work have not work in many years. Now for starter how many of you work full time durn day and went to school nights never thought of that!

    October 4, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Obama has been absent too many times when leadership is/was needed to get anything done It showed last night. You only get experence by getting in the game. Obama ran for the job but didn't do the job. And everybody knows it. Last night the Liberals were fleeing faster than Rats abandoning a sinking ship. It would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

    October 4, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. tykl

    For all those O supporters, please answer a couple easy questions (they should be easy because this are huge issues):

    What is the US policy toward Syria? Tens of thousands are dying. Turkey, a NATO ally, is getting sucked in.

    What is the US policy toward the Middle East in general?

    What is the US policy toward Israel and Palestine?

    What is the US policy on Iran?

    What is the US policy on N/S Korea since they are getting closer to war?

    If you have any clue, please share. The Oval Office is empty because 'doing his homework is a drag.' We need more leadership and competence.

    October 4, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Ind.

    Obama was PWND.

    October 4, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Should have voted for McCain!

    jinx88

    It over if Mittens cant change OH and PA from a 7 point deficit. Obama will get his 270 electoral votes. Fact!!
    ________________________________

    Don't count your electoral votes before they hatch!

    October 4, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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