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Biden Calls Negative Ads An "Abomination"… Maybe He Should Tell His Campaign To Stop Running Them

- October 12, 2012

Last Night, Biden Called Negative Ads An "Abomination." BIDEN: "I would also tell him that there are things that have occurred in this campaign and occur in every campaign that I'm sure both of us regret anyone having said, particularly in these special new groups that can go out there, raise all the money they want, not have to identify themselves and say the most scurrilous things about the other candidate. It's - it's - it's an abomination." (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)


From April To September, Obama Ran Nearly 270,000 Negative Ads. "All told, from the moment Mr. Romney emerged as the likely Republican nominee in April through most of September, Mr. Obama ran nearly triple the number of commercials he did, according to Kantar, about 347,000, nearly 270,000 negative. Mr. Romney ran about 121,000, more than 99,000 of them negative." (Jim Rutenberg and Jeremy W. Peters, "Obama Outspending Romney On TV Ads," The New York Times, 10/2/12)

Even Obama Admitted His Campaign Ads "Go Overboard" In Order To Highlight Differences Between Him And Gov. Romney. CBS's STEVE KROFT: "Look, the Fact checkers have been having problems with ads on both sides. And say that they have been misleading, and in some cases, just not true. I mean, does that disturb you? I mean some of them are your ads." OBAMA: "Do we see sometimes, us going overboard on our campaign, are there mistakes that are made, or are there areas, where there is no doubt that someone could dispute how we are presenting things. Eh, I mean that happens in politics." KROFT: "Aren't the American people entitled to the truth? Or a better version of it?" OBAMA: "Absolutely, but the truth of the matter is, most of the time we are having a vigorous debate about a vision for the country. And, there is a lot at stake in this election. So, is it going to be sharp sometimes? Absolutely, but will the American people ultimately have a good sense of where I want to take the country, and where Governor Romney wants to take the country? Absolutely." (CBS' " 60 Minutes ," 9/23/12)

  • Obama "Not Only Approves Of His Television Ads" But "He Also Screens Many Of Them In Advance." "The president not only approves of his television ads, as federal election law requires him to say in each commercial, he also screens many of them in advance, either on his iPad or during a regular Sunday evening meeting with political advisers at the White House." (Jeff Zeleny, "Obama Team Taking A Gamble Going Negative," The New York Times, 7/28/12)

Obama-Biden In 2008 Was A "Dogged, Overwhelming Attack Campaign"

Obama's 2008 "Hope And Change Campaign Was The Happy Cover On A Dogged, Overwhelming Attack Campaign." "We're talking about a campaign that outspent John McCain by as much as a 3-1 ratio in the final stretch, and devoted most of that money to negative ads. The 'hope and change' campaign was the happy cover on a dogged, overwhelming attack campaign." (David Weigel, "The Myth Of The Positive 2008 Obama Campaign," Slate, 5/22/12)

  • "Even The Sainted Hope-And-Change Campaign Of 2008 Spent Heavily On Negative Ads - More Than The McCain Campaign Did." "'What ever happened to hope and change?' asked Bob Schieffer of CBS News. He apparently forgot that even the sainted Obama hope-and-change campaign of 2008 spent heavily on negative ads-more than the ­McCain campaign did. (Does no one recall the exquisite 'Seven,' in which the old hero was presented as a doddering doofus unable to name the number of houses he owned?)" (Frank Rich, "Frank Rich: Nuke 'Em," New York Magazine, 6/17/12)

PolitiFact: Obama In 2008 Ran "More Negative Ads In American History" Than Any Other Presidential Candidate. "Rubio said, 'No candidate has run more negative ads in American history than Barack Obama did in 2008, especially in the general.' In sheer numbers, that statement is correct: Obama bought many more ads than McCain did, both positive and negative. Nevertheless, two studies suggest that, overall, Obama's ads were not significantly more negative than his rival. He ran the most negative ads because he ran the most ads. We rate Rubio's statement Mostly True." ("Marco Rubio Said 'No Candidate Has Run More Negative Ads In American History Than Barack Obama In 2008," PolitiFact 2/6/12)


Obama-Biden Super PAC Priorities USA Produced A "Disgusting" Attack Ad

Priorities USA Produced An Ad Featuring A Former Steelworker Who "Appears To Blame Romney For the Death Of His Wife." "Joe Soptic, a former steelworker, makes yet another appearance in a pro-Obama ad, this time for the Super PAC Priorities USA Action. We have examined this case before, and for the benefit of readers we repeat our main points from an earlier column that awarded the Obama campaign One Pinocchio for the use of this case study against presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Most controversially, Soptic this time appears to blame Romney for the death of his wife after he lost his health insurance when the steel plant closed." (Glen Kessler, "New Anti-Romney Ad: Same Steelworker, Tougher Message," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, 8/7/12)

  • The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: "Four Pinocchios." (Glen Kessler, "New Anti-Romney Ad: Same Steelworker, Tougher Message," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, 8/7/12)
  • CNN: "Ad Linking Romney To Death Of The Wife Of A Laid Off Steelworker Inaccurate." (Brianna Keller, "Ad Linking Romney To Death Of The Wife Of A Laid Off Steelworker Inaccurate."CNN, 8/7/12)

Los Angeles Times Jon Healy: "Even For An Attack Ad, 'Understands' Goes Too Far." (Jon Healey, Op-Ed, "Even For An Attack Ad, 'Understands' Goes Too Far," Los Angeles Times, 8/9/12)

Former Bill Clinton Adviser Lanny Davis: Priorities USA's Ad Is "Disgusting." "On @WMALMornings, Lanny Davis calls PrioritiesUSA cancer ad 'disgusting,' says Obama should repudiate it." (Steven Portnoy, Twitter Feed, 8/9/12)

Obama-Biden Staff Refused To Speak Out Against The Ad

Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney Refused To Comment On The Ad: "I Speak For The President. I Do Not Speak For A Third-Party Organization." "Well, I'll simply say that I haven't seen the ad but I have read about it. And I speak for the President. I do not speak for a third-party organization. This was in the context yesterday of a discussion about the categorically false and blatantly dishonest advertisement from the Romney campaign -- not a third-party group -- from the Romney campaign with regards to the President's policy on welfare reform." ( White House Press Gaggle , 8/8/12)

Obama Campaign Advisor Robert Gibbs: "This Is An Ad By An Entity That's Not Controlled By The Campaign." GIBBS: "This is an ad by an entity that's not controlled by the campaign. I certainly don't know the specifics of this man's case. I do think there is a lot of concern in the country about what happens when people lose their jobs." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 8/8/12)

Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter: "You Do Know That We Don't Have Anything To Do With Priorities USA." CUTTER: "You do know that we don't have anything to do with Priorities USA. By law, we're not allowed to coordinate with them, and by law, we don't have anything to do with their ads. I don't know the facts of when Joe's wife got sick or when she died." (CNN's "Starting Point," 8/8/12)

Obama Campaign Press Secretary Jen Psaki: "I Can't Speak To The Ad." CNN's WOLF BLITZER: "Do you want to associate or disassociate yourself with this pro-Obama Super PAC ad?" PSAKI: "Well, Wolf, As you know, we have about as much to do with Priorities ads as we do with Michael Phelps winning gold medals last week. I can't speak to the ad." (CNN's "Situation Room," 8/7/12)

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