President Obama on Friday lamented the heavy spending and largely negative nature of the ongoing presidential campaign, apparently oblivious to the fact he and his allies have spent more money and run more negative ads than his Republican opponent.
“We are seeing more money spent than anytime in American history, a lot of it undisclosed, coming from folks who can write $10 million checks,” Obama told supporters in Virginia. “Most of the ads are negative. In fact, almost all of the ads are negative. And it’s understandable as you watch these TV ads, that you start thinking that politics just doesn’t seem to get what’s going on in your lives.”
But despite complaining about the prospect of being “outspent” in campaign fundraising emails, Obama has outraised Mitt Romney by nearly $100 million, or more than 40 percent. The president’s campaign has spent more than $50 million on advertising since April, and has run nearly twice the number of television spots than the Romney campaign.
That’s not all. The Democratic National Committee has outraised its Republican counterpart by more than $20 million, and outspent it by more than 50 percent. Obama-affiliated outside groups and Super PACs have outspent Republican groups.
A recent Bloomberg analysis found that more than 98 percent of Obama-affiliated advertising has had “some negative tone.”
That has not stopped the Obama campaign from suggesting that Romney and Republican groups are entirely responsible for the onslaught of heavily-financed negative advertising.”
“Can super PACs and hundreds of millions of dollars from Republicans and the Romney campaign—through the brute force of negative advertising alone—drown out millions of voices?” Obama deputy campaign manager Julianna Smoot wrote in a recent fundraising email.
In fact, the campaign so far marks a significant about face for a president who not only pledged to eschew “shadowy” Super PACs, but also once claimed that his election would prove “it’s possible to overcome the politics of division and distraction; that it’s possible to overcome the same old negative attacks that are always about scoring points and never about solving our problems.”