🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now
Campaign Finance

Welcome to Charlotte, Mr. President

Rachael Marcus Sep 6, 2012

Conservative outside spending groups are welcoming President Barack Obama to Charlotte, N.C., with a barrage of attack ads.

At least three conservative nonprofits and the Republican National Committee are running television and print ads as Obama prepares to give his acceptance speech for the presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Thursday night.

The Republican Jewish Coalition attacked the new Democratic platform that removed certain pro-Israel language from platforms of previous years — some of which was replaced.

It bought $75,000 worth of ad space in the Charlotte Observer highlighting the difference between the 2008 platform and the 2012 platform. One of the sticking points — that the platform removed a statement about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel — has since been reinstated, at Obama’s insistence, albeit amid some confusion, AP reported.

The ad is also slated to run next week in Jewish newspapers in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

The nonprofit American Future Fund attempts to draw attention away from what Democrats call the Republicans’ “war on women” with the ad “What’s at Stake.”

The ad, airing in North Carolina, features pro-choice women saying a woman’s right to choose is not at stake in this election — the “future of America” is. The women say that is the reason they are voting for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan.

Americans for Prosperity takes the health care angle in North Carolina with a $5.8 million ad buy for “Replace,” which tells the story of a sick Canadian woman forced to seek medical treatment in the U.S. She says Canada’s government-run health care system failed her and that America’s current system saved her life.

Factcheck.org cites a Canadian Broacasting Corporation story in which a neurosurgeon says her condition, a type of benign cyst, is not fatal, as the woman claims, though her vision was at risk.

Spending by nonprofits on negative advertising has been ratcheting as the election looms closer. Nonprofits, unlike party committees and super PACs, do not release the names of the donors who pay for the ads.

To round out the barrage, the Republican National Committee goes after Obama on the economic recovery.

The web video “These Hands” tells the story of a struggling small business owner in High Point, N.C. She says that when she opened her new furniture store, she got more than 420 applications for five positions.

“That crystalizes, in my mind, that we’re on the wrong road,” Melanie McNamara says.

In other outside spending news:

  • Pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action reported spending $204,000 on radio advertisements opposing Romney.
  • The RNC also released “Incomplete” and “The Breakup,” which shows a young woman breaking up with a cardboard cutout of the president over dinner. There’s also a Spanish version.
  • American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC, debuted “Forwards?” criticizing Obama’s record on the economic recovery, national debt and the Affordable Care Act. The group reported spending $5.8 million on television ads Wednesday.
  • Crossroads GPS, the sister nonprofit to American Crossroads, released “Big Difference,” which opposes former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, and supports Rep. Rick Berg, a Republican, in the race for U.S. Senate. The ad cost $113,000.
  • The nonprofit Center Forward, the rebranded Blue Dogs Research Forum, released “Refuse,” attacking Republican Richard Mourdock, who is running for U.S. Senate in Indiana. Murdock defeated incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar in the GOP primary.
  • SEIU COPE, the political action committee of the Service Employees International Union, reported spending more than $430,000 on television ads opposing Romney.
  • Conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action unleashed an $800,000 ad buy against Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who is running for U.S. Senate against tea party favorite Richard Mourdock. The ad calls Donnelly “a typical Washington liberal.”
  • American Future Fund also released a web video chronicling Vice President Joe Biden’s gaffes, asking “Do you trust Joe Biden to lead?”
  • The nonprofit League of Conservation Voters reported spending $250,000 on field campaign consulting in opposition to Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who is faces Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat. Warren spoke at the Democratic convention last night.
  • The Michigan League of Conservation Voters launched an ad opposing the re-election of Rep. Dan Benishek of Michigan’s 1st District. “Progress” criticizes Benishek’s record of opposition to the Clean Water Act and supports former Michigan state Rep. Gary McDowell, Benishek’s Democratic challenger. The ad debuted Tuesday and cost $364,000, FEC filings show.
  • A new ad with a very descriptive title opposes Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon Tester. The ad, from the Democratic Senatorial Congressional Committee, is called “Denny Rehberg wants higher taxes for us and lower taxes for millionaires like him.”
  • Chris Gibson: One of The Crowd” from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opposes the re-election of the Republican congressman in New York’s 20th District. Gibson faces Democratic attorney Julian Schreibman in November.
  • Restore America’s Voice, a conservative PAC, spent $130,000 on online ads and telemarketing fundraising in opposition to Obama.
  • Change” from conservative Crossroads Generation manages to criticize Obama without actually naming him for the job prospects of recent college graduates.
  • Maine Freedom, a super PAC supporting Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Dill in Maine, reported spending more than $111,000 on ads supporting Dill and opposing former Gov. Angus King, the frontrunner and an independent.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.