Obama ads were filmed in West Wing
July 24th, 2012
09:03 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama ads were filmed in West Wing

(CNN) - Two new campaign ads released this week by President Barack Obama's re-election team were filmed in the West Wing of the White House, sources confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

While some took issue with the commercial’s location, Obama is building on a practice followed by many of his predecessors. A recent exception was his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, who did not use White House interiors in campaign ads.

In the first ad, "The Choice," which was released on Monday, Obama lays out what he describes as two different visions for the country - that of his own campaign and that of Mitt Romney. Obama looks directly into the camera and tells voters, "Over the next four months, you have a choice to make."

The second ad, "Always," released on Tuesday, features the president rebutting attacks from Romney over the president's recent comments about small businesses.

However, this is hardly the first time the White House has been seen in Obama campaign videos and photos. Officials stood by the decision to film the two spots in the West Wing and pointed out past presidents who used the same tactic. Among other examples, former President Ronald Reagan cut a more than four-minute-long television commercial in the Oval Office in 1984, and former President Bill Clinton's campaign also shot footage of the president at his desk for a campaign commercial in 1996.

While a 2004 commercial featured Bush walking alongside the colonnade outside of the West Wing, he did not shoot campaign footage inside.

A spokesperson from the Republican National Committee, however, said the White House ad showed Obama was "out of touch."

"While the president claims he has too much on his plate to meet with his jobs council, it looks like he found time to film a political campaign ad in the White House showing just how out of touch Obama really is," said Kirsten Kukowski, referring to reports that the president has not met with the so-called jobs council in six months.

Last year, Republicans tried to pounce on a video that Obama's re-election campaign had filmed in the Map Room of the White House. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus accused the president of committing an "apparent crime" by taping a video that is "not part of the White House residence, but rather 'occupied in the discharge of official duties.'" He called for the Department of Justice to investigate, though nothing came to fruition out of the GOP-led firestorm.

While it’s illegal to solicit contributions for a political purpose from any area of the White House used for purposes of official business, the Map Room is considered to be part of the official White House residence, and has been for decades. The residence is not subject to restrictions placed on rooms used for official business.

- CNN’s John King, Brianna Keilar, Athena Jones, Rebecca Stewart, and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama • White House
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. degazmatic

    Non issue. If he filmed it in switzerland maybe. He isn't even the first president to film in the white house. Gosh darn these repubs! We never hear any policy from them but everything the pres does needs to be attacked. What about romney "you didn't build that" supporters all accepting government aid? Hypocrisy at its worst.

    July 24, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. Darryl

    President Obama is a desent man. And a Great President.

    July 24, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Phil Thomas

    Im independent but the disillusionment with the GOP and the their lack of idea, the way they run their campaigns and the general extremist positions they take have pushed me as far away from them as possible. I regret to the core voting for the GOP folks i voted for in the last election. Romney is a symptom of what is wrong with the party, no ideas and criticism every news cycle. At what point do people ask him his plans, I can't wait for the debates. However its to late, I don't mind a change in opinion but a change in core beliefs. You don't change that much how do you go from pro Health Care, Gun legislation, etc. etc. Mitt Romney was a man I would of once voted for not because i agree with either of his actions but because they were his actions and he was not pandering. The 2012 version no thanks, way to smarmy for me but in the end its up to you America

    July 24, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  4. Tally-Ho

    If he decided to go to Holllywood and spend time taping a commercial, the wingnuts would gripe about that. If he goes to a fundraiser, the wingnuts gripe about that. So he decides to tape a commercial close to home in the West Wing, and the righties gripe about that too. Hey, righties, have you seen the Weekly Address that the President tapes EVERY WEEK in the White House? Try not to lose it over that one.

    I guess you think Romney's little side show to the Olympics in London is a better way for a candidate to spend his time, right? I hear Romney will be going to a fundraiser where each guest must pay between $25,000 (£17,000) and $75,000 (£50,000) just for a seat. This little shindig will be hosted by Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays. Yes, the very same Barclays that has to pay American and British authorities $453 million in fines as a settlement over allegations that Barclays manipulated international interest rates and caused MILLIONS of borrowers to pay the wrong amount on their loans.

    Now that is really "in touch." Tally-ho!

    July 24, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    "Among other examples, former President Ronald Reagan cut a more than four-minute-long television commercial in the Oval Office in 1984" <-- doesn't that pretty much end the GOP's attempt to turn this into an issue? C'mon, there are plenty far more substantive things to be talking about here

    July 24, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. MarineVet

    The President is "out of touch?" Get a clue, Repubs. The closest Mitt will get to the White House is if he takes a tour someday.

    July 24, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Larry Motsinger

    This does not surprise me. This president thinks that he is above the law and the constitution!!!

    July 24, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. snow

    Abuse of his position, but that is nothing new for this jimmy carter type. Oh well, in 06 more months he will only be in the White House on an invitation basis only.

    July 24, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. JimB

    I like Obama facing the camera and speaking directly to the people. It is more positive and nothing that Romney could do (Romney is so boring and uninspiring). Some Hope and Change inspiration would also be a good campaign ad. I hope Obama and his campaign spend more time talking about his achievements and less attacking Romney, except related to Romney as a tax dodger and exposing his business deals which hurt many people – quotes that corporations are people, loving to fire people, and not worried about the poor. CNN, I don't really care where the ad is done. This is a story???

    July 24, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. bvc

    Well he does live there! What, does Romney want to tie his dog to the roof of the campaign bus and head over to the WH to film his own ads. Man the repubs are turning into big whiny babies, more so than ever.

    Anyone who straps a dog to the roof of a car for a long drive, to another country no less, and scratches his head as the dog hightails it for good, is not fit to lead this country. Cruelty to animals, and especially to "man;s best friend", is unacceptable. What was that man thinking....................

    July 25, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  11. Patrick from Minnesota

    I can remember all of W. Bush's ads had him saying "I'm George W. Bush and I approved this message" in the oval office at the end, nothing wrong with that. Why is this news?

    July 25, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    My god the news must be slow this is not even in the category of a storm in a teacup it is and will always be a non event whichever parties president occupies the White House.
    The idea that some advantage accrues in terms of votes is laughable except that it is and enormous slight on the character, intelligence, personage of every single voter in the USA.

    July 25, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  13. enuff

    Pick, pick, cluck..sounds just like some ole pea hens clucking at each other over nothing..

    July 25, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  14. enuff

    The RNC is just jealous they can't follow Obama with Romney's bus on this one. He doesn't have access.

    July 25, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  15. Thomas2

    Those that abject must be from the TEA Party .

    July 25, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  16. Marty

    Unqualified to lead this great country of ours. Still is.

    July 25, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  17. Name bullock

    I'm belive that people will not trust to presdient obama cause presdient obama is fraud his birth certiface and social security

    July 25, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |