As President Barack Obama's supporters flock to the Democratic National Convention with signs bearing his 2012 slogan "Forward," Karl Rove's super PAC, American Crossroads, is out with a new ad suggesting that's not the direction in which the president has taken the country over the last four years.
The ad, titled "Forward?" and released Wednesday, asks, "President Obama says he'll move us forward, but where's he taken us so far?"
Referring to Obama's first term as "America's worst economic recovery ever," the narrator runs through the struggles facing those who are out of work, grappling with lower incomes and living paycheck to paycheck.
"All while Obama racked up $5 trillion more in debt," the narrator continues. "Is that really forward -- or backward?”
The spot is part of a $6.6 million ad buy and will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
"For Barack Obama, 'Forward' is the new backward, because another four years of Obama's economic policies will only keep moving America backward," said Jonathan Collegio, communications director at American Crossroads, in a statement. "Obama's hollow campaign slogan is another attempt to divert attention from the fact that during Obama's tenure, unemployment, household incomes, gas prices and the national debt are all getting worse."
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith responded to the ad with the following statement:
"The month the President came into office, we were losing nearly 800,000 private sector jobs a month. The economy was on the brink of another Depression, the market was rapidly eliminating the retirement savings of millions of Americans, manufacturing was in decline and the auto industry was on the brink. In all of those areas, President Obama has moved us forward. Businesses have created 4.5 million private sector jobs over the past 29 months. Wall Street can no longer write its own rules. Last year GM posted a record profit and was the number one auto maker in the world, and both the manufacturing sector and the auto industry are seeing their strongest job growth since the 1990s. Mitt Romney wants to take us back with tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans on the middle class' dime and letting Wall Street write its own rules again. That’s not a recipe for strength --it's the same formula that devastated the middle class and crashed the economy in the first place."
American Crossroads recently began making a $40 million TV ad buy across 10 states for the fall. Earlier this summer, the super PAC dedicated $9.3 million in advertising to defend Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney against attacks on his business record.
Along with its sister organization, the advocacy nonprofit Crossroads GPS, American Crossroads has spent more than $90 million in TV ads during this electoral cycle. The two groups together expect to raise a total of $300 million in what has been branded the most costly election to date.
This story has been updated with comment from the Obama campaign.