June 20th, 2012
09:56 AM ET
10 years ago

New ad keeps 'doing fine' in the spotlight

(CNN) - A major conservative organization, Americans for Prosperity, became the latest group Wednesday to capitalize on President Barack Obama's line that the "private sector is doing fine," with an ad in six presidential battleground states.

Backed by what they say is a $5.5 million ad buy, the AFP spot weaves the president's June 8th line with economic statistics and narration.

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"How can the president be so out of touch?" the narrator in the spot says while the screen reads "40 straight months of unemployment above 8%." "How can he fix the economy if he doesn't know what's wrong?" the narrator continues.

Obama made the statement at a press conference while saying the private sector added 4.3 million jobs in the past 27 months, compared to the performance of the public sector that he said was not at the same level.

He clarified the remark later in the day following heavy criticism from those on the other side of the political aisle.

"It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine," Obama said.

Mitt Romney, his campaign and the super PAC supporting his candidacy are among those who have attacked the president for the gaffe.

AFP said the latest commercial, which will run over the next ten days in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is part of $20 million spent since last fall criticizing Obama administration policies.

"Our new ad demonstrates just how far removed the president is from the real economy," AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement. "The fact is the private sector is severely hampered by the specter of rising taxes and new regulations."

The group that receives funding from the millionaire Koch brothers unveiled plans Tuesday, including ads, to influence Senate campaigns in Montana, Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia that will tie Democratic senators to the president.

- CNN Political Reporter Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

Also see:

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

Romney credits governors with states' success

Sunny Romney predicts Wisconsin win

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Charles - The unemployment rate would be much lower if the repug govoners were not layinbg off teachers, fire fighters and police.
    Cities and towns employ these people. These are, OR SHOULD BE, LOCAL HIRING DECISIONS. The federal government has NO BUSINESS interjecting itself in these LOCAL hiring decisions. If the local people feel they can afford them, then they can pay for them. Obama and the Dmeocrats ALWAYS trot this BS out, just like throwing granny over the Medicare cliff. The American people have smartened up to the BS the Democrats throw.

    June 20, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. JohnW

    So what's worse, Obama stating that the private sector is doing fine (which at worst is an exaggeration) or Romney stating that he's not concerned about the very poor? Or did you righties conveniently forget about that one?

    June 20, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Bob

    This is TWO WEEK OLD NEWS. Hey CNN, why are you perpetuating it? Oh, right, *sensationalism* and *conflict* – this story has all the right stuff.

    June 20, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    Out of context and people like me do not believe it was a gaffe when taken in its full context.
    In four months time this soundbite will be lost among the many gaffes both sides will make.
    It is the overall economy including jobs private and public sector and other parts of the economy that will play the lead role in the vote for president. Along with other issues like war policy, defense spending, and where the government spending cuts come in.
    Relative to most of europe our economy is doing relatively fine many in europe in double dip recession already caused by sever austerity measures which is exactly what republican are proposing. Relatively spraking the economy will be facing a national typhoon and millions more unemployed.

    June 20, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. J

    Considering the multi-million dollar bonuses the private company CEO's are receiving, I would say President Obama is correct.

    June 20, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. SeeThruIt2

    If the government hired everyone, we could make this a 100% public jobs nation. (Almost like Greece.)

    June 20, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. skeptical

    100 rounds of golf and all is well!

    June 20, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. ZedATL

    Well, if someone at CNN takes the time to actually post the charts, you will see that the private sector has recovered all jobs lost due to the depression and continues to grow. The public sector is at a 10 year low. Barack Obama realizes this is a bad situation as our infrastructure crumbles, schools close, and public defenders are laid off. Electing a Republican who vows to "drown government in a bathtub" would only make it worse.

    June 20, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Andy

    God Bless America. The school yard of the world.

    June 20, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Jaya

    By "Private Sector" the President was referring to Wall Street and record corporate profits. That private sector is doing extremely well, so well in fact they finance extremist right-wing propaganda and call it Fox News, or Super Pac's to preach falsehood, hate and division. The banality of evil exists, and will persist.

    June 20, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. pauleky

    This is why I laugh when people refer to the "liberal media." Obama is nowhere near as gaffe-prone as Romney. The man is so uncomfortable around everyday folks that he embarrasses himself on an almost daily basis. A truly liberal media would go out of their way to show it (like MSNBC was recently accused of doing). Rather than seek the truth and show that Romney would be a disaster for the middle and lower classes, the media would rather harp on "gaffes" and the screamers on the extremes of both parties. How about seeking the truth, CNN?

    June 20, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Sam

    Talk about out of touch. Obama is so far from everyday Americans he can't grasp it. Maybe its just another lie as we have heard the last few days his autobiography is fraught with outright lies. Who would have figured.

    June 20, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. CBR

    This is so insignificant. The GOP is grasping at straws and they risk alienating us with the continued ads like this.

    The private sector is doing better than the public sector. Millionaires like Romney have done well these last few years. Just check the incomes for people in the highest tax brackets. How about an ad about the incomes of the most wealthy Americans and how their incomes have increased?

    June 20, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. callmecrazy

    What a waste of money. I don't know anyone who hasn't already made up their mind about who they will vote for so these adds aren't changing anyone's minds. They are only infuriating voters on both sides. Just turn it off.

    June 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. cali girl

    This seems to be all they have to throw at the President.
    Whatever, we are still waiting for Robmey to have a plan on the economy, jobs (says he creates them but not how), illegals (still no stand on what the Presidents action). It is just the same old tune, the President this and the Presdient that.

    June 20, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. cali girl

    This seems to be all they have to throw at the President.
    Whatever, we are still waiting for Robmey to have a plan on the economy, jobs (says he creates them but not how), illegals (still no stand on what the Presidents action). It is just the same old tune, The President this and the Presdient that is all Robmey says.

    June 20, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    The thing is, the PRIVATE sector IS doing just fine. Record profits and things are sailing quite well. The unemployment is so high because of the massive layoffs in the PUBLIC sector.
    The public sector debt when you consider Federal, State and Local debt is 100% of Gross National Product. This is a dangerous situation and it is getting worse, not better. Every City, County, State and the federal government should be looking closely at whatever they need to to to get back in control and run efficiently. If they can run with fewer employees then that is what they need to do. Quickly. It's not fun, but it is reality. This is what businesses have been doing for 4 years and it is past time for government to use the same discipline.

    June 20, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. SuperD

    You are delusional as the President. I have MANY friends who are desparately trying to find work.

    Problem is confidence. Obama's policies suck confidence out of the business model. You don't know if taxes are going up, don't know if and what you will pay for heathcare. There's new regulations every 10 minutes.

    It's too darn risky to invest with this anti – capitalist -Leftist in office. It's actually quite simple.

    The solution? Vote his sorry rear end out of office!

    June 20, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Whome

    The fast and Furious,what did obama know and when did he know it?

    June 20, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Captain Obvious

    The private sector is doing fine. They've created millions of jobs. Overall, unemployment remains high due primarily to budget cuts. Governments have laid off millions of people offsetting those gains.

    June 20, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Sam

    Love how CNN calls it a gaffe. Carry his water much? Really its pathetic.

    June 20, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Canuck

    "Amazing that no matter this guy does, you libs will make excuses for him."

    I don't think Obama has done a very good job at all, after all that he promised. The thing is that the alternative is just too awful to contemplate – a case of the lesser of two evils I guess.

    June 20, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Lori in CO

    The republicans picked up on a "sound bite" that does not show the entire context of the speech. And yes, this is old news so why is CNN running this story? Because yet another organization thinks they are being slick running an ad based on this. I live in Colorado and have been seeing an ad from the Romney campaign (I believe) that shows this same sound bite over and over in one of their ads. Really...if you're going to run another ad based on this, you could get a little creative. Right now, I don't even listen to the current ad that's running. Romney is so out of touch with the regular person...I mean really...maybe if I made the money he did I'd think differently. But I don't...and most of what he talks about is so unrelatable to me and my situation. There is no way I would ever vote for someone like him! OBAMA 2012

    June 20, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    President is right the private is doing fine. Romney like so many rich people AFP spent over $20 millions which will run over the next ten days in criticizing President Obama, wall street ,banks ,auotmaker the news media is making bank they are getting richer. America you need to understand business about making money for shareholder and not creating jobs that why so many company send jobs over seas they been doing this for years. President can't stop company sending job out of the country or make company bring jobs back if it was the easy he would have done this long time ago

    June 20, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Snowbird50

    Yes, President Obama misspoke. The private sector is not doing well, but the corporate sector has everyone by the tail and is whipping us around like dead fish. Do we really want more dead fish at the hands of wealthy corporations who care little for the private sector, except to own more of it?

    June 20, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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