Radio Politics: Priorities USA, Americans for Prosperity on Air

Photograph by Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

Rebecca Fernandez of Miami protests outside of the University of Miami where Mitt Romney was attending a Meet the Candidates forum held by Univision, on Sept. 19, 2012, in Coral Gables, Fla.

There’s little sanctuary from campaign advertising. The messages even follow voters to and from work while driving, thanks in part to two large radio buys announced this week.

This morning, Priorities USA Action and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees began what the groups said is a $1.25 million radio campaign to highlight Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney’s comments that nearly half of Americans are “dependent” upon government and see themselves as “victims.”

Priorities USA Action is a super-political action committee run by former aides to President Barack Obama. It can accept contributions of any size, and counts unions and entertainers including Hollywood studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg as some of its biggest donors. Its partner on the radio buy, AFSCME, is a government workers union.

The first ad debuts this week on radio stations in Virginia and Ohio, two battleground states where recent polls have shown Obama with an edge over Romney. Various 47-percent-themed ads will run through Election Day on Nov. 6, according to a news release by Priorities and AFSCME.

The ad begins by replaying Romney’s comments at a May fundraiser that was secretly recorded and made public earlier this month. (A Bloomberg National Poll out this week showed that more than half of likely voters disagreed with Romney’s assessment at the fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans “believe that they are victims.”)

The ad concludes with an announcer saying, “Mitt Romney’s just not looking out for us.”

That’s not to say there’s radio silence from Romney’s allies.

Earlier this week, Americans for Prosperity said it is spending $1.3 million in a radio project to educate voters about Obama’s “failing policies.”

“President Obama’s agenda has been failing American families and must come to an end,” a narrator says. The ad says Obama pushed a health-care law that carries $500 billion in new taxes, spent billions on green-energy “scams” and presided over 43 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent.

“You can be part of the solution,” the narrator says. The ad directs listeners to a Web site, failingagenda.com, that gives information about Americans for Prosperity events and issues. The nonprofit group was co-founded by billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch and does not disclose its donors.

AFP’s ads are playing on radio stations in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin this week and next, according to a news release.

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