Group spends $6 million linking Obama to Solyndra in ad
January 16th, 2012
02:21 PM ET
11 years ago

Group spends $6 million linking Obama to Solyndra in ad

(CNN) - A conservative group announced Monday they were spending millions to spotlight President Barack Obama's involvement in the failed green energy firm Solyndra, which received loan guarantees from the federal government before it declared bankruptcy.

Americans for Prosperity said they spent $6 million to run the minute-long spot in the battleground states of Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and Iowa. The ad began airing Monday.

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The conservative group touted the ad as the "first major ad buy of 2012 focused on the Obama Administration's failed policies."

"This ad is important because it puts a spotlight on how cronyism and blind ideology came together in the halls of the White House," Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement.

Solyndra failed after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees in 2009. Prior to the bankruptcy, President Barack Obama visited the company to tout it as a model for green industry.

The spot accuses Obama of helping secure the loan guarantees for Solyndra for political reasons.

"We all know about Solyndra," the narrator says. "The White House emails. The FBI raids. Solyndra investors raised campaign money for Obama. The government gives Solyndra half a billion in taxpayer money. Politics as usual."

The ad closes with the narrator telling viewers, "Tell President Obama American workers aren't pawns in your political games."

Americans for Prosperity supports many tea party movement causes, and has pushed for reducing government regulation in the oil and gas industries,

The group was co-founded by industrialists Charles and David Koch, who are major supporters of conservative and libertarian causes.

In November, AFP ran a similar ad attacking Obama for the Solyndra affair. That buy was for $2.4 million, and ran in the battleground states of Florida, Michigan, New Mexico and Virginia.

Also see:

Paul scores sought after endorsement in South Carolina

DeMint: I will not endorse

Romney nabs Florida endorsement

FIRST ON CNN: Huntsman to drop out

Filed under: 2012 • Energy • President Obama
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Interesting how the righties still keep insisting their policies brought about some kind of economic Golden Age that was ruined when they were swept out of power in the last decade. 3 Decades of tax cuts and lax enforcement led us to this, not the attempts to right the ship. The concentration of wealth ( and power) in the hands of a few has led us to this stage: its not jealousy, its being tired of seeing obscenely wealthy people continue to demand their portion of the pie be expanded at the expense of regualr people. I'm sorry, but if this attack on a president who ahs taken some small steps to balance things out and give regualr people a better chance at raising their children with dignity are examples of a " mental disorder" than I cheerfully admit to being crazy. I just feel sad that people here only point to failures and not to anything positive in the country. Yes, the loans were guaranteed by the Obama adminsitration for this company, and it failed: what it proved is that fioghting against companies that are backed by the Chinese governement have an uphill climb. Failures happen in business, after all, didn't W fail as a business man 3 times before becoming the first president in history to push a tax cut in wartime? This ad will not persuade anyone, one way or the other, about Obama.

    January 16, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Namejkane fl

    The croch bros. Are extremest teaparty clowns who won't get any respect just because they have money. Keep wasting it backing your loser clown canadates.

    January 16, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    "BTW – I believe Solyndra was initially targeted for loan money by the Bush administration."
    This is exactly how the left transforms completely incorrect staements into "facts". Here's a suggestion – if you "believe" something to be true, but aren't quite sure, try doing your homework. You might be surprised at what you find.

    January 16, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. IndianaIndependent

    Yes, the initial request was done while Bush was president. However, it was rejected under Bush because the company was not sound. It was revived under Obama and approved under Obama and blessed by Obama – even when his own people were aware that the company was in fiancial trouble – had an outdated, overpriced product and were probably going to fail within the next 12 – 18 months (with or without the "loan".

    January 16, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Mike from Calgary

    Sounds like R&D in a new area. Does US want to stay in forefront of technology or not?

    January 16, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    The Koch Brothers are showing why Adam Smith never wanted business people to be involved in politics: because they would confuse their interests with those of the nation.

    January 16, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Cody

    So, in response to campaign funding controversy, a PAC proceeds to use money from undisclosed sources to fund a campaign. How about this, if it really bothers you propose campaign reform. Eliminate PACs from campaigns and stop making money the issue of re-election. Oh wait... the people running this are mad because their politician isn't in the WH right now, so they're throwing more money at him.

    January 16, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. TYpicalman

    Not to worry, very soon the truth will come out about Solyndra and it will show Obama has nothing to do with this.... but wait a minute didn't the repubs come to Romney's defense about Bain Capital that some Business succeed and some do fail. Isn't this case very similar to Bain Capital?

    January 16, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. mikle

    So what. It's not Obama personal money. He care less.It's his change. A few change like that, and USA going broke.

    January 16, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Corporations of America

    What about the $30 BILLION the government gives to the oil industry in tax breaks? Couldn't it be said that's $30 billion used to give to the oil company so the oil companies can inturn contribute politically to republicans? what's more $30 billion or $535 million? Sounds like republicans are more corrupt.

    January 16, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. gg

    iam sure you can trace bush to billions made at haliburton

    January 16, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Not did the Obama administration fast track a loan guarantee for 1/2 BILLION dollars to a financially unstable company, they BROKE laws in subordinating the tax payers investment to Obama's campaign fund raisers, who just happened to be major investors in Solyndra. And if that was not enough, when the company was going to declare bankruptcy, the Obama administration asked them to delay the announcement until after the 2010 elections. And if THAT wasn't enough incompetence and corruption for you, the Obama administration was even considering GIVING THEM EVEN MORE MONEY to keep them afloat!

    People should be in JAIL for what was done at Solyndra. Instead the Eric Holder Justice Dept. is busy suing states for enforcing the laws of our land. Yet more Obama incompetence at work.

    January 16, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. mike with a mustache

    Because everyone knows that "cronyism and blind ideology" cannot exist in a republican administration. Please. Our President does not have a perfect record, but if Solyndra is the best example the Kochs can come up with of "the Obama Administration's failed policies," he should have nothing to worry about.

    January 16, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Mike from Calgary - Sounds like R&D in a new area. Does US want to stay in forefront of technology or not?
    Of course, which is why private industry invests BILLIONS in R&D THAT MAKES SENSE. Solyndra only made sense from a political photo op and Obama campaign perspective.

    January 16, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Mike from Calgary

    Sounds like R&D in a new area. Does US want to stay in forefront of technology or not?
    Hey Mike – howz about Canada ponying up something once in a while? It must be great not to have to worry about military spending because, after all, America will make sure nothing happens to you, huh?

    January 16, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Thomas

    @Mike from Calgary

    Thank you !

    The same people that supported a four trillion dollar war in Iraq , are the same people that reject , fuel efficiency , renewable energy , or sustainability .

    535 million in lost R&D , were any lives lost ? How much is the cost of a month in Afghanistan ?

    January 16, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Solyndra was actively recruited by the Bush administration to apply for loans. Satisfied? Sarcasm is lost on the lost mind.

    January 16, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Rudy says:

    "The Bush regime created the program just as you said, but they also *actively recruited* and encouraged Solyndra to participate in the program."
    Come on, Rudy... recruited???? The Bush adminitration "recruited" NO ONE. I honestly don't know how you can look yourself in the mirror when you spew this guano.

    P.S. Bush "regime"? Words of a desperate man.

    January 16, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    Mike from Calgary
    Sounds like R&D in a new area. Does US want to stay in forefront of technology or not?
    The problem was, this technology, although whiz bang because of the unique metalization scheme and collection format did not make for a good business plan. It was doomed by high cost. So the Bush Administration backed off consideration for funding. However, since Obama was riding a high wave of popularity with complete control of Washington, he pushed through the loan guarantees twice against advice to dump it. A huge Democratic donor was heavily invested in Solyndra and Obama was not going to let him down. Instead he let the American people down.

    January 16, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. ron

    Who cares?! Someone in his administration recommended this company and it failed! SO WHAT? $6M seems like a lot of money to waste on something just about every voter suspects is true to some degree. You guys had better check the books of the folks who billed you $6M!! You may find they worked on the plan at a nudie bar in Atlantic City and billed you for "meetings/conferences" and maybe even $13 muffins!! LOL.....move on, please.

    January 16, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. ken

    really? is that ALL u got on him that you would spend that much wasted money?

    January 16, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. FLIndpendent

    It is absolutely astounding how much money these groups on both sides have to spend for all the garbage we have to stomach. Can you imagine if they used that money to pay down our national debt? Oh, but heavens, they can't do such a thing because this country always has to have major issues or else the media couldn't stir up the big horse race for the next President (who really doesn't have much control over what happens!)

    January 16, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Larry L

    @Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    GI Joe – Doesn't even come close to the "investment" in Iraq.
    You mean the investment a lot of Democrats voted FOR including Hillary Clinton???
    Yes, I though you did!
    Once again you spin the story while ignoring actual facts. The reason the Congress voted in favor of the war was Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld falsified the intelligence data to indicate Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The President lied and the Congress believed him. Bush started the war dishonestly and many thousands of people died.

    Regarding Bush's interest in Solyndra – do you suppose Bush being a lap-dog for the oil industry might influence his interest in the renewable energy industry? Look up the "Haliburton Loophole" to see how in-bed that administration was with big oil. Solyndra was in fact a crappy investment – but you need to look at the entire effort to free us from foreign oil and realize somebody needs to do something. We wouldn't know nor care where Iraq, Iran, Oman, Saudi and the other PPEC nations were located on the map if we didn't need their oil.

    January 16, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. FIELD1stSGT

    Everything to dumb bos is to not wake up and smell the roses. They think because he is one of them he can't do anything wrong. But the fact is he has flung this nation into tremendous debt it is very likey never to overcome. BUT THEN THAT WAS YOURS, OBAMA AND SOROS' PLAN WASN'T IT?

    January 16, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Natalie

    Keep on spending, Kock Bros., it won't work, but at least you're putting someone to work making all this garbage. Supreme Court, you failed us by giving Corporations human status. This is one campaign issue that should change; bring on spending limits, such a waste of money. Funny, the GOP whines about their wealthy cronies paying their fair share of taxes, yet when it comes to spending on campaigns, no problem!

    January 16, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
1 2 3 4