The candidate: President Obama.
The ad: The spot, titled "Swiss Bank Account," starts by dismissing a recent "erroneous," "over the top" anti-Obama ad that was funded by Americans for Prosperity and casts the president as a ruthless outsourcer of jobs. In fact, "Swiss Bank Account" boasts, the president's "clean energy initiatives have helped create jobs for projects across America — not overseas." The Obama ad then attempts to turn the tables, saying that Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, is the one who shipped American jobs overseas — to China, Mexico, and India — first as a corporate CEO, then as governor of Massachusetts. The ad closes with a tough kicker: "That's just what you'd expect from a guy who had a Swiss bank account."
The ad buy: The 30-second spot will run in battleground states Ohio, Iowa, and Virginia. While the Obama campaign isn't disclosing the exact size of the buy, a source tells Politico that "they've reserved $458,883 in airtime in Ohio, $88,455 in Iowa, and $72,845 in Virginia for ads running May 1 to May 7."
The strategy: The president's campaign is "pushing back on anti-Obama claims made by outside GOP groups, and taking a whack at Romney directly in the process," says Alexander Burns at Politico. The president's ad "also takes aim at Romney's core message: That his business success makes him better qualified to pump up the fragile economy and create jobs," says Oliver Knox at Yahoo. It's clear, says Michael Falcone at ABC News, that the Obama team "will make Romney's past business dealings a major talking point of the election cycle."
The reaction: President Obama "isn't exactly tiptoeing into the general election," says Aliyah Shahid at the New York Daily News. There's no sugarcoating it: This clip is "brutally negative." Yes, but it also has "too much going on" to be truly effective, says Peter Grier at The Christian Science Monitor. Obama's "initial defensive burst is confusing, particularly when it's followed by the quick cut to Romney, swooshing graphics about jobs in Mexico and China, and so on." And yet, voters will likely only remember the phrase "Swiss bank account," which is probably fine by Democrats.
The fallout: Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg says the ad is simply "trying to distract Americans from the real issues with a series of sideshows," adding: "The American people have suffered enough over the last three years and deserve better."