Web ad mocks Obama as 'celebrity president'
April 26th, 2012
09:19 AM ET
11 years ago

Web ad mocks Obama as 'celebrity president'

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's much talked about appearance on Jimmy Fallon's late night TV talk show is being used against the president by a major Republican group that says it's going up with an online ad that criticizes Obama as a "celebrity president."

American Crossroads, the independent super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove that backs GOP causes and candidates, says their spot will run online starting as early as Thursday in the three university towns the president visited during his two day, three battleground state tour Tuesday and Wednesday. Obama held events at the University of North Carolina, the University of Colorado and the University of Iowa as part of his push for the extension of a measure that would hold down federal student loan rates, an important issue for many younger voters.

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As part of his push, the president Tuesday night appeared on Fallon's NBC late night talk show. A skit in which the two men "slow-jammed" was the buzz of the cable news networks, talk radio and blogs the next day.

Crossroads' online ad uses clips from Obama's appearance with Fallon, and also includes footage of Obama dancing with Ellen DeGeneres on her popular daytime program during the 2008 presidential election, and of the president at a fundraiser earlier this year singing Al Green's famous song "Let's Stay Together."

The spot says that "four years ago Americans elected the biggest celebrity in the world. And America got one cool president. But after four years of a celebrity president, one-in-two recent college grads are jobless or underemployed, 85% moving back in with their parents, student loan debt exceeds one trillion dollars."

The ad ends by asking "after four years of a celebrity president, is your life any better?"

The spot brings back memories of a TV commercial put up in late July 2008 by Sen. John McCain's Republican presidential campaign that mocked Obama as "the biggest celebrity in the world," and juxtaposed clips of Obama's speech in front of 200,000 people in Berlin, Germany the previous week with quick images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. That ad asked if then-Sen. Obama was "ready to lead?"

The Democratic National Committee on Thursday pushed back against the video, saying it "overlooks some key facts."

"President Obama has worked to make college more affordable and create more and better-paying employment opportunities for younger Americans," said DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell. "Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has offered nothing but lip service and dishonest attacks on the President's record to young voters. Even his position on student loans is nothing more than an empty promise given his support for the Ryan budget, which would make it significantly harder for young people to afford college by allowing the student loan interest rate to double and cutting Pell Grants."

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soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Good luck with that Republicans? After all, that line of attack worked so well for you 4 years ago? Republicans would always rather distract and lie than deal with the issues. Despite the presidents appearance on Fallon, he actually does talk about issues that matter to Americans. The real issue is that Mitt Romney has not allowed the press to ask him any questions in over a month. What does he have to hide? The President answers the tough questions all the time, and never never avoids interviews with the press. Amazing that Republicans want a leader who is scared to define who he really is.

    April 26, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Drew

    Yawn. Didn't they try this tactic throughout the ENTIRE 2008 campaign?

    It sure worked out pretty well for them, didn't it?

    April 26, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Call him celebrity president if you'd like but we LOVED IT JUST LIKE WE LOVE PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. By the way, the Republicans should be put on the REDICULOUS LIST.

    April 26, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Jerubbaal

    They just don't get it. The greatest generation must be tvrning in there graves at the action of their children. They didn't make all the shared sacrifices for freedom to have America to become the 1930's Germany that the GOP/TP would like to make it.

    April 26, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Laverne

    Jealously is as cold as the grave! Don't hate, just congratulate when he kicks your candidate butt this fall! I love the fact that he is a real person and not all fake and plastic like the Romneys who have never mingled with just the average person. OBAMA/BIDEN '12

    April 26, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Jamie

    Someone becomes a "celebrity" because others like what they do. Maybe the Republicans should try to find out why no one likes them.

    April 26, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Fladabosco

    This is how Republicans have run their elections for the last 30 years. They find out what words upset people and use those words to describe their opponents, whether it's true or makes any sense at all.

    Of course Obama is a celebrity – he's the freakin president of the United States! The president who acted the most like a celebrity – wore loud clothes, ran with famous actors, ate only the fanciest food – was Reagan, the Republican hero!

    April 26, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. Brandon

    He's less of a celebrity than Regan was.

    April 26, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. John, PA

    Obama is the "celebrity president.", the Partier in Chief, see the 100 rounds of golf and 17 vacations to date in three years.

    He certainly didn’t improve the economy, do something/anything that would lower the price of fuel, improve the housing market, improve the job market – kiss the youth vote good bye, produce a budget that passes Congress or run a country.

    April 26, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Dave

    Romney is correct about Obama's unfairness: "We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next."

    April 26, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Wiley

    It might be the star-studded conga line at the White House, the toney environs of Martha's Vineyard or a house-warming party for David Axelrod's new $1.7M condo in Chicago but wherever "the rich and famous" are hanging out you'll find our man-of-the-sheeple, President Barack Obama. Despite the dangers of "the rich" he constantly reminds us about: "the rich" have made our economy tank, "the rich" have shipped our jobs overseas and "the rich" have made our environment stinky, he wades knee-deep into the fray protecting us from their greed and wealth. Party on Mr. President.

    April 26, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Blindersoff

    Republican party of obstructionist and haters . . . We have, in this president, a well balanced approach to governing and government, He is intelligent (scholar), even tempered, logical, disciplined, progressive, insightful, fare, just, can relate on all levels, which is a total plus for any person who want to hold office. No matter how hard the evil republican leadership and their hidden shadow walkers (Super PAC) try to upset, hurt, make miserable, grieve, distress, wound, pain, torment, injure. In spite of treasonous attempts, he is patient, he is resolute in whatsoever he undertakes. No wonder our President gets treated like a celebrity, Instead of trying to down him and hating on him, they should be trying copy him. President Barack Obama, A Brand you can expect a positive return!

    April 26, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Saboth

    Perhaps he is a celebrity president. One that just happens to have done more work in the past 3 years than Bush did in 8.

    April 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Morgan Hill

    President Obama is a very intelligent man. As a registered voter I approve of his policies and his governing style. We must look at all the good this President has done. Taking the enormous problems he inherited from the moment he took office and than all the negative that comes from the Republican politicians it's no wonder our economy hasn't made bigger improvements. We have seen Republicans rooting for a failed economy, now who in their right mind would do that to our country. I say it's those that hate America, (the Republicans) and it's those that hate seeing a black man in the white house, (the Republicans). By the way, wasn't President Regan an actor before he became a president. Listen to yourselves Republicans, stop your hypocracy, your arrogance and selfishness. You are the servants of the American people, now do your share to create jobs and move our country to a better tomorrow..

    April 26, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Spite is never becoming, and no doubt about it, Karl Rove has yet to prove himself to be anything other than spiteful.

    (BTW: It's an awfully lame ad.)

    April 26, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |

    Grow up, GOP.

    April 26, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Allinit123

    So funny.. you got to hand it to them. With the economy picking up (no help from them) and unemployment going down they have nothing left but personal attacks. Pretty smart to. Obama's strength is his like ability and those appearances that they are criticizing him about are what makes him likable.

    If you can't debate the issues, attack the messenger. Right from the GOP play book.. Rove a contributor.. They are destroying the essence of what america is about for their own gain. Total lack of respect for the highest office. Continual criticism and a show of discontent by voting no on every policy without offering up compromise.

    The worst in my opinion is the constant gloom and doom to keep the general public confidence down so that the economy continues to go sour. Thanks God that even the GOP machine can't keep the American spirit down and we see the economy starting to grow and unemployment decrease.

    I truly believe that people are beginning to see what the GOP is doing. Mostly because they are doing it so outlandishly these days instead of a subtle approach..

    Let's do what's right America. Let's show all politicians on either side that if you try to manipulate the voters through lies deception and propaganda, we take offense to that and will get rid of you..

    I would say that if we did this we would be ousting 99% of the GOP and 30% of the DEMS.. So be it.. The people are what make this nation great, not the paid for politicians...

    April 26, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Andrew

    Typical GOP strategy – if a plan (or an ad) proves to be a failure, just keep trying it.

    April 26, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. PaulCat

    He looks real fine to me. Don't hate. Karl Robe put a web up telling us what Romney has in mind to help the American middle class people.

    April 26, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. Michael

    That's absurd. It's 2012 and the guy can't act like the rest of the progressive western world. President Obama on Jimmy Fallon is purely to show he is also human because he can use humor unlike any Republican candidate. How else can the President show he even is somewhat similar to the everyday American? We got Mitt Romney talking about his wife's Cadillacs to the general public as if most of us actually have ever driven, let alone, owned one. Of course Republicans would try to use this against Obama, because it shows he has way more support from the everyday American. Seems the Republican party forgot who votes in these elections, its not just their millionaire friends.

    April 26, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. Jess C

    Way t'go Mr. President, you pissed off the old cronies who'd look like complete idiots doing what you do. However, I'm sure Romneybot will try to copy you. Thanks for being a human that we can relate to.

    April 26, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. BADGUY

    Regarding Romney, was Willie Sutton a "celebrity"?

    April 26, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. ST

    These people (GOP) never learn a lesson. We are now back to McCain campaign of the last fall. Where is the picture of Paris Hilton?

    April 26, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. lies from the right but mostly hate

    Jealousy will get you nowhere gop

    April 26, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. anagram_kid

    Pettiness is very unbecoming. Another example that the abject hatred from the right is not about policy; it is personal.

    Obama 2012 – Because being an overachiever is a good thing.

    April 26, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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