Ad War Update: Playing Welfare

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 8 2012 @ 8:08pm

by Chas Danner

Today was the battle of the web videos, as the Obama campaign responds to Romney's welfare waiver attack with the following:

However, despite the substantial pushback, Team Romney is still going welfare-strong, uploading a Romney speech titled "We Should Not Turn America Into A Nation Of Dependancy," as well as bringing out the archival footage in this web ad:

The commentary is still coming regarding the new Priorities USA ad connecting Bain Capitol to a woman's cancer death. Today a Romney spokesperson surprisingly touted Romneycare to rebut the ad, a likely slippery slope mentioned in yesterday's ad update. Greg Sargent thinks the dustup reveals the big picture:

Even if this ad makes unsupportable charges — and even if you think there’s nothing objectionable about Bain’s conduct — the ad dramatizes a larger story about what has happened to the middle class in this country. There is a straightforward difference of opinion between the two candidates over how to respond to this — over the degree to which the federal government should intervene to protect people like Ms. Soptic. Obama believes in aggressive federal action to cushion the blow of market outcomes like the one that hit families like the Soptics with such force. Romney — even though his campaign has now said universal health care is the right answer in cases like hers — is promising to roll back government protections for families like theirs. Whatever you think of the ad, that's the more important larger argument to be having here — and it has been clarified this week.

Taking another look at examples of outside spending in downticket races, Karl Rove's Super "non-profit issues") PAC, Crossroads GPS, has some new ads up in a five-state, $7.2 million campaign. Here's a $700K+ ad against Democratic Senate candidate Shelley Berkley in Nevada:

In fundraising news, this week Politico looked at the proportion of small money in the campaign:

2,100 donors giving $50,000 or more have contributed about $200 million to the Obama and Romney campaign committees, victory funds and their supportive super PACs. That’s far more than the $148 million all those 2.5 million small donors contributed through the end of June, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by POLITICO and the Campaign Finance Institute. In other words: In an election purportedly being driven by the economic concerns of the middle class, the top 0.07 percent of donors are more valuable than the bottom 86 percent.

If you'd been meaning to purchase the domain "" for your mom-themed Romney fansite, you're officially too late, as both presidential campaigns have been locking down domain names for potential microsites. (The Obama campaign is apparently still sitting on  – will Obama fight a robot at the convention?) Lastly, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson continues to release polished and positively-charged web ads in an attempt to connect with more voters:

Ad War archive here.