Conservative ad spree pins debt on Obama [video]

Conservative group Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, has weighed in on Washington’s economic crisis du jour with a new ad released Wednesday, saying America’s economy is “hanging by a thread” and laying the blame on President Obama.

The new ad campaign, which totals $3.5 million for a two-week run in Colorado, North Carolina, New Mexico, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia, doesn’t explicitly mention the debt ceiling debate that has paralyzed the capital in recent weeks. But the commercial’s warning that the country is “near the breaking point” dovetails with the coming Tuesday deadline for Congress to raise the debt limit, after which the country will default on its obligations. (See video below.)

In the commercial, shipping crates—each meant to signify a strain on the economy, such as the high unemployment rate and rising gas prices—dangle precipitously by fraying ropes in a computer animation. “Maybe we won’t be crushed when our economy snaps,” the narrator says. “But someone will,” as the image of a young blond girl fills the screen.

The wide-eyed youth harkens back to Lyndon Johnson’s famous 1964 “Daisy” ad, in which footage of a little girl playing with flowers was ominously juxtaposed against footage of a mushroom cloud.


“America’s economy really is hanging by a thread, and to keep that thread from breaking Republicans must stop President Obama’s reckless scheme to raise taxes in the middle of a jobs recession,” said Crossroads GPS president Steven Law.

“The fact that Obama is willing to hold our country’s fiscal stability hostage over more taxes shows how ideologically committed he is to expanding government regardless of the economic cost.”

Viewers of the ad are encouraged to go to, where they can send a form letter to Congress to “deny President Obama another blank check to raise the debt ceiling without deep spending cuts and tough spending controls.”

While the commercial references Obama’s February 2009 stimulus package and other government spending proposals as culprits of the current economic environment, an analysis by the New York Times shows that policies enacted by both parties—under President George W. Bush’s two terms and Obama’s current one—have added to the national debt, with the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts in particular contributing to the deficit.

This is the latest commercial in Crossroads GPS’s $20-million spending spree this summer, which has hammered the president on economic policy in key electoral states.