Obama Ads Were Filmed In West Wing

By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz

(CNN) -- Two new campaign ads released this week by President Barack Obama's re-election team were filmed in the West Wing of the White House, sources confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

While some took issue with the commercial's location, Obama is building on a practice followed by many of his predecessors. A recent exception was his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, who did not use White House interiors in campaign ads.

In the first ad, "The Choice," which was released on Monday, Obama lays out what he describes as two different visions for the country - that of his own campaign and that of Mitt Romney. Obama looks directly into the camera and tells voters, "Over the next four months, you have a choice to make."

The second ad, "Always," released on Tuesday, features the president rebutting attacks from Romney over the president's recent comments about small businesses.

However, this is hardly the first time the White House has been seen in Obama campaign videos and photos. Officials stood by the decision to film the two spots in the West Wing and pointed out past presidents who used the same tactic. Among other examples, former President Ronald Reagan cut a more than four-minute-long television commercial in the Oval Office in 1984, and former President Bill Clinton's campaign also shot footage of the president at his desk for a campaign commercial in 1996.

While a 2004 commercial featured Bush walking alongside the colonnade outside of the West Wing, he did not shoot campaign footage inside.

A spokesperson from the Republican National Committee, however, said the White House ad showed Obama was "out of touch."

"While the president claims he has too much on his plate to meet with his jobs council, it looks like he found time to film a political campaign ad in the White House showing just how out of touch Obama really is," said Kirsten Kukowski, referring to reports that the president has not met with the so-called jobs council in six months.

Last year, Republicans tried to pounce on a video that Obama's re-election campaign had filmed in the Map Room of the White House. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus accused the president of committing an "apparent crime" by taping a video that is "not part of the White House residence, but rather 'occupied in the discharge of official duties.'" He called for the Department of Justice to investigate, though nothing came to fruition out of the GOP-led firestorm.

While it's illegal to solicit contributions for a political purpose from any area of the White House used for purposes of official business, the Map Room is considered to be part of the official White House residence, and has been for decades. The residence is not subject to restrictions placed on rooms used for official business.


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