Super-PAC’s `New Normal:’ Old Rate

“The new normal” of the TV ad that a major super-PAC backing Mitt Romney is airing in Florida, Virginia and Iowa has been overtaken by facts, but that won’t get in the way of a $6.3-million ad-buy announced today by Restore Our Future.

The ad opens with a narrator saying: “Welcome to the new normal, where over 8 percent unemployment is doing fine” — with the “over 8 percent unemployment” also displayed on the screen.

It draws on a comment that President Barack Obama made months ago– in June — on the day of a Labor Department report showing unemployment continuing at over 8 percent — the president pointed to private sector job growth as “doing fine,” later amending that comment for the criticism it drew. Since then, on Friday, the Labor Department has reported a break in the 43-month streak of 8 percent-plus employment, the rate sliding to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest level since Obama took office in January 2009.

Restore Our Future actually started airing this message before the newest jobs report.

That June remark was, for Obama, what the recently published video of Romney speaking of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no taxes was for the Republican nominee — a ripe target for opposition advertising.

In Obama’s case, however, he clarified his comment the same day:  “Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine,” Obama told reporters hours after the initial remark on June 8. “The economy’s not doing fine. There are too many people out of work, the housing market is still weak and too many homes underwater.”

Romney said just last week that his 47 percent remark made May 17 and revealed Sept. 17 was “completely wrong.”

The Republican National Committee initially pounced on Obama’s “doing fine” remark in ads. The new super-PAC ad goes on to say that “millions of Americans have simply given up” in an economy “where our children will grow up in a world of crushing debt….This is the new normal,” the ad says. “This is President Obama’s economy. Demand better.”

The play in Florida, Virginia and Iowa targets three states that Obama won in 2008, and which Romney must retake for the Republicans this year if he can make a path to the 270 electoral votes needed for election. The super-PAC has the money to make its ads talk. Restore Our Future is backed by Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who has contributed at least $10 million to the campaign.

Adelson is the 27th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. (He was ranked 29th richest last week when the ad first started. Coincidence.)

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