Obama Campaign Seeks To Frame The Narrative With New Ads

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) – The Obama campaign launched Monday the first in a series of positive ads aimed at highlighting the president's record on such issues as the economy and foreign policy.

Called "Go," the first ad begins and ends by addressing voters' concerns about the economy, reminding Americans that President Obama inherited an economic mess from the previous administration. The one-minute spot makes the case that Obama's policies have helped middle-class Americans and will continue to do more in the future.

"Some said our best days were behind us, but not him," the narrator says before the ad cuts to Obama appearing at an auto industry bailout event saying, "Don't bet against the American worker."

The ad claims the American auto industry "is back" - a message meant to appeal to voters in in the manufacturing industry in states like Michigan and Ohio.

The ad also touts the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden - "our greatest enemy brought to justice by our greatest heroes" - and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq with a picture of a little girl running into her father's arms at his homecoming. Military families are among the groups the campaign is trying to woo.

David Axelrod, senior adviser to Obama's re-election campaign, brushed off Romney accusations that the president is running away from his record, saying in an appearance on ABC's "This Week" that the "extensive ad campaign" would show "where we were and where we've come and things we've accomplished."

Axelrod added that the ads will show "many other things that we're proud of and that show the progress we've made since the president has been elected."

In the portion of the ad the Romney campaign is likely to seize upon, the narrator touts job growth as one of Obama's accomplishments.

"Instead of losing jobs we're creating them. Over 4.2 million so far. We're not there yet. it's still too hard for too many. But we're coming back," the narrator says.

In the most recent jobs report released Friday, unemployment dropped to 8.1% in April in part because more than 340,000 Americans dropped out of the workforce - a fact the Romney campaign was quick to point out. The campaign released over the weekend its own video critical of the president's economic record, pointing to the weak numbers in the jobs report and saying "Obama isn't working."

“Americans will hear a lot from President Obama in the coming months, but what they won’t hear from him is the fact that his policies have wreaked havoc on the middle class," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement."

She added: "After a doubling of gas prices, declining incomes, millions of foreclosures, and record levels of unemployment, Americans know they’re not better off than they were four years ago. Mitt Romney’s pro-growth agenda will get America back on track and stop the middle-class squeeze of the Obama economy."

The Obama campaign is seeking to combat that kind of message by building a counter-narrative with ads like the one released Monday.

The campaign is trying to tell a story about the economy and the recovery - arguing things would have been far worse without Obama in the White House. Offering data to show conditions are improving, the campaign argues that the trend will continue for the middle class if Obama remains in office.

At his campaign rallies in Ohio and Virginia on Saturday, Obama said Romney "doesn't get" how to help the middle class. The new campaign spot offers a positive spin on the message, saying Obama is fighting to defend middle-class Americans.

The ad concludes with the narrator saying: "America's greatness comes from a strong middle class. Because you don't give up. And neither does he."

Some of the president's most senior advisers say their research shows that even many undecided voters believe Obama works hard and is trying to do his best. The ad's conclusion seems to be playing into that sentiment.

The ad will be released early this week in the key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

A campaign spokesperson says it will be a "substantial" ad buy and more positive ads will follow.

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