Updated with an Obama advisor's insights
Nearly two years to the day after the Supreme Court allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political advertisements, President Obama's re-election campaign is using its first foray into paid media to lay a foundation against the outside groups that benefit from the Citizens United v. FEC ruling.
One might not have guessed that the candidate of hope and change would launch his re-election bid by inoculating himself against "secretive oil billionaires."
But that's the new political reality Team Obama faces: In the post-Citizens United world, presidential campaigns must pay as much attention to outside groups that attack their records as seriously as they do attacks from their rivals. Just ask Newt Gingrich, whose campaign suffered when it failed to respond to millions of dollars in attack ads from a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC in Iowa.
The Obama ad comes a day after Americans for Prosperity -- a conservative group largely funded by the Koch brothers -- said it would spend $6 million in ads criticizing the Obama administration over Solyndra, the solar panel company that went bankrupt after receiving billions in loans from the Energy Department.
The 30-second ad will run in Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to Obama's campaign -- the same six states where AFP is running their ads (The ads hadn't actually been purchased by close of business, according to a Republican source who watches political ad markets). And the script is a direct response to the AFP ad, touting job growth in the energy sector.
Check out both ads and more after the jump.