Why are the presidential candidates spending so much time raising so much money? To buy TV ads. In Ad Watch, we review the results of their heroic efforts as they come out. Today: Mitt Romney airs his second attack ad on President Obama's attack ads, while Democrats say Republican governors who won't expand Medicaid because it's expensive are liars.
The Ad: Mitt Romney, "What Happened?"
The Issues: Obama's negative ads.
The Message: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone to run from… you make a big election about small things," Obama said in 2008. But Obama's attack ads have been "misleading, unfair, and untrue," according to fact checkers. "We expect more from a president," the text says. This is the second ad released this week in that attacks Obama's negative ads. Politico's Mike Allen points to a study of one media market, Columbus, Ohio, which found that every single ad on the market is negative.
Who'll See It: The TV ad will air in swing states like Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada , New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.
Who It's For: Polls have found that Obama's attack ads on Romney's Bain career are working in swing states. So, Romney needs to unwork them.
What Everyone Else Thinks: "But remember this little rule in politics: If someone is complaining about negative TV ads, that usually means they’re working," NBC News' First Read writes.
The Effect: Republicans have aired several ads trying to hang Obama with his own 2008 words to convey a sense of disappointment. This is one of the more effective ones. But Romney's still not making the positive case for Bain. This ad doesn't specifically say what Obama's ads are about. B-
The Ad: Democratic Governors Association, "Pants on Fire"
The Issues: Some Republican governors' refusal to implement the Medicaid expansion in their states. When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, it held the law's method of making states expand Medicaid too coercive.
The Message: Fact-checking sites have deemed false the claims from Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell that the law would immediately cost their states huge sums.
Who'll See It: It's a web video, so it's for reporters and supporters who'd seek that kind of thing out.
Who It's For: Reporters, so they'll challenge any other claims like this. Several other states are considering whether to expand Medicaid.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Wow, Sarah Palin is still talking about death panels.
The Effect: It's entertaining, thanks to the comedic timing of the old Yosemite Sam cartoon. And it's funny that the ad notes Palin is still saying her "2009 lie of the year," as Politifact called it, in 2012. A-
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.