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2012 Proxy Campaign Run By Super PACs, Non-Profits

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic and Republican outside groups are in a proxy war, testing messages in dueling million dollar advertising buys in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.

On Wednesday, the Democratic group Priorities USA Action launched a series of advertisements in battleground states, a response to the $20 million ad buy from the Karl Rove-founded conservative group Crossroads GPS.

The Crossroads GPS ad lampooned the recent statement by President Barack Obama -- "Shovel-ready wasn't quite as shovel-ready as we expected" -- to attack the president on the economy.

The Priorities USA Action ad calls the Crossroads ad "politics at its worst" and assails the Republicans for proposing "a plan that would essentially end Medicare for future retirees, slash education, while giving huge tax breaks to oil and the wealthy."

According to Politico's Mike Allen the Priorities USA Action ad buy will match 80 percent of the Crossroads buy in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Virginia.

Priorities USA Action is run by former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

See the dueling ads below:

Crossroads GPS "Shovel Ready":

Priorities USA Action:

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