Ad War Update: The Medicare Drum Beats

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 22 2012 @ 7:09pm

The Romney campaign has a new web ad hitting the president on Obamacare and its Medicare cuts. It's the fourth Romney ad to mention Medicare, but no details have been released regarding the size or scope of the buy:

Focusing on the word "free" may be an attempt to tie Obamacare to the welfare attacks. Dylan Matthews points out that the new tax rhetoric is misleading:

[T]he law’s tax increases are generally quite progressive. The excise tax on expensive health plans only applies to plans costing more than $27,500 for a family of four, which only the very rare middle-income family reaches. The law increases the Medicare payroll tax by 0.9 percentage points for income over $200,000, and imposes a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for families with gross income of $250,000 or more. And the bill’s insurance premium tax credits, which make up the bulk of the coverage provisions, are quite progressive as well. Thus for many families, the tax credit will overwhelm any increases in medical device or tanning costs, and the bill will be an overall tax cut for them. Unfortunately, neither the Joint Committee on Taxation nor a reputable private group has done a detailed distributional analysis to see exactly how much each income group would see taxes rise or fall.

For its part today, the Obama campaign is focusing on education and how the Ryan budget would impact it. This ad will be airing in Virginia and Ohio this week:

The Obama campaign is also hitting Romney with a new pair of Spanish-language ads (the same content, but in 30– and 60-second variations):

The size and scope of the buy is currently unknown. Here's the Google translation:

This presidential election is crucial for our future. Every Latino voter should know the truth about the candidates. And this is the truth about Mitt Romney. He has promised to eliminate the new health care law and access to health insurance for millions of Latinos. Romney is opposed to helping families who are about to lose their homes in the mortgage crisis. Romney is against the DREAM Act and supports the Arizona law that has hurt the quality of life of Latin American immigrants. The truth is the truth. Mitt Romney is not good for the U.S. Latino community.

Meanwhile, regarding Todd Akin's Rapegate, while his opponent Claire McCaskill hasn't released any video ads yet, her campaign has been promoting tweets centered on Akin's name as well as the #legitimaterape. In outside spending news, GOP Super (non-profit "issues") PAC American Future Fund is dropping a few million going after Senate candidates in Nevada and North Dakota. Here is their ad attacking Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV):

Berkley is also getting hit by the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity, another "dark money" 501(c)(4) like American Future Fund. This ad is part of $2.7 million buy targeting downticket Democrats in five states:

By the way, the Dish was watching CNN this evening and noticed the airing of a variation of this ad:

Such "Repeal It Now" ads have existed for almost two years and are likely back on the air in light of the SCOTUS's Obamacare ruling. Back in 2010, Think Progress noted that the group behind the ads is run by a friend of Huckabee. Lastly, Huckabee surely wouldn't approve of this new ad in the issues arena, which GLAAD has put out to support marriage equality in Maine:

Ad War archive here.