Reality Check: Review of Crossroads GPS 'Excuses' ad



ORLANDO, Fla. - The following is a transcript of WFTV political analyst Dr. Rick Foglesong’s “Reality Check” segment that aired on Channel 9 on July 25, 2012.

Those Obama ads showing Gov. Mitt Romney singing “America the Beautiful” seem to have put Romney on the defensive in the last two weeks. 

So how are they trying to get back on their game?

Foglesong believes they want to get back to attacking President Barack Obama’s economic record, and outside groups allied with Romney are trying to help.

Foglesong reviews an ad from Crossroads GPS, an outside group founded by Karl Rove, the former Bush political aide.  Their person in charge is Carl Forti, who was Romney’s political director in 2008.

By law, the super PACs must be independent from presidential campaigns, and they can’t directly coordinate their ad strategies with the campaigns.  But former campaign aides run them, on Obama’s side, too, I guess because they know what their ex-bosses would want.   

This ad makes two related claims:  First, I don’t know how often Obama made these comments, and the ad doesn’t tell us, so I’ll focus on the "headwinds from Europe" matter.

Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows a pattern: Jobless figures in the Euro zone, North America, and Japan track together -- up and down -- and last month, our jobless rate was about in the middle, better than the Euro zone’s 11.1, but not as good as Japan’s 4.4. 

Evidently, in this global economy, our economic wellbeing depends on that of our trading partners.

As for the ad’s second claim; I’ve responded regarding a previous ad.  The federal deficit is so high, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office, for two main reasons; The Bush-era tax cuts and the cost of funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And besides, presidents can’t reduce the deficit by themselves.  Congressional action is needed, too, and right now, neither the Republican-controlled House nor the Democratic-controlled Senate wants to compromise on taxes or spending. 

The ad is the first wave of a $25 million advocacy effort that started July 10 and will run through early August.  The donors are anonymous.

There are also ads attacking Obama, but they're not ads from the Romney campaign itself. 

Why is that?

That’s because the money Romney has raised in recent months can only be used in the general election campaign, which means after the Republican convention.