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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign aired its first major television advertisement this week, buying $2 million worth of airtime in six critical swing states. The ad is a direct response to Americans for Prosperity, the conservative Super PAC funded by the billionaire Koch brothers that recently launched a national TV spot of its own blasting Obama for his green energy policy.

The rollout comes in the middle of a busy political week: The president was in New York Thursday raising money, the Republicans in South Carolina vote on Saturday, and the State of the Union Address is on Tuesday. By focusing on attacks funded by oil industry titans, the ad attempts to channel public concern about the consequences of Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision handed down two years ago tomorrow that opened the floodgates for groups like Americans For Prosperity to raise unlimited campaign funds from anonymous donors. (They dumped some $40 million into the midterm elections that brought the Tea Party to power in Congress, and their current ad buy is estimated at over $6 million.)