THE BLOG

Progressive TV Ad Pressures Obama in Iowa

12/02/2010 08:22 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In just one day, more than 3,000 progressives have chipped in more than $50,000 to help the Progressive Change Campaign Committee run a new TV ad holding President Obama to a promise that was at the core of his campaign: "We will also allow the temporary Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire."

New progressive ad pressure ObamaIt tells Obama to fight the Republicans on this issue -- and to "dare" them to side with the rich against the entire rest of the country. (See it here.)

This ad's caused big buzz -- with coverage by the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, National Journal, ABC, Time, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC's Ed Schultz and Lawrence O'Donnell. (UPDATE, 9:05pm: Rachel Maddow showed it just now!)

Given the amazing media momentum and fundraising success, we decided to expand the ad buy from Washington, D.C. to Iowa, where President Obama made the promise featured in the ad.

Just tonight, the White House let down millions of their previous supporters yet again, and proved why this grassroots pressure is needed. Immediately after the House defied Republican threats and passed a bill without tax cuts for the rich, press secretary Robert Gibbs issued this statement (bold added):

"The President continues to believe that extending middle class tax cuts is the most important thing we can do for our economy right now and he applauds the House for passing a permanent extension. But, because Republicans have made it clear that they won't pass a middle class extension without also extending tax cuts for the wealthy, the President has asked Director Lew and Secretary Geithner to work with Congress to find a way forward. Those discussions started just yesterday and are continuing this afternoon. The talks are ongoing and productive, but any reports that we are near a deal in the tax cuts negotiations are inaccurate and premature."

In response, the PCCC issued this statement -- which was quickly reported by Huffington Post and The Hill newspaper:

"At a moment when they could have celebrated victory, this White House incredibly chose to wave the white flag -- signaling to Republicans that they will take any deal, no matter how bad, including borrowing billions to extend tax cuts for the richest Americans. This is a direct betrayal of a core Obama campaign promise, and the essence of political malpractice and negotiating incompetence. This White House clearly needs more grassroots pressure to do the obvious thing -- so tomorrow, we'll be increasing our ad buy in Iowa telling Obama to keep his promise and fight the Republicans on this issue."