WASHINGTON -- Six months before the election, the Obama campaign has allotted a remarkable $25 million for ads to air in May alone, top officials told reporters on a conference call Monday.
The figure is massive, underscoring both the extent to which the president's political team is confident that its fundraising success will be continuous, and its desire to not let Republicans define the president early in the general election contest.
On the call, Obama adviser David Axelrod said that the campaign would treat ads run by super PACs and outside groups supportive of Mitt Romney as ads from the Romney campaign itself. Each would elicit a response he added, calling Karl Rove (Crossroads) and the Koch brothers (Americans for Prosperity) "contract killers out there in super PAC land."
By Axelrod's calculation, Romney and allied groups already spent $55 million on television advertisements, 90 percent of which were negative in nature.
"We probably won’t see any ads this cycle that talk accurately about his record because he has absolutely nothing to say," added campaign manager Jim Messina. "The Romney campaign likes to pretend that world history started in January 2009."
The Obama campaign has responded to those negative ads with negative ones of its own. But the most recent spot -- released this Monday -- was strictly positive in nature, portraying the president as making progress in turning the tide on the economic calamity he inherited.
“President Obama would like for voters to believe he hasn’t been president for the last three years," Amanda Henneberg, a Romney campaign spokesperson said in response to the conference call. "Americans are disappointed in President Obama’s liberal policies that haven’t made their lives any better. President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises. It's harder to get a job, buy or sell a home, and those fortunate enough to have jobs often have less in their paychecks."