WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's re-election team plans to spend $25 million on advertising this month, a dramatic escalation of its media presence in a handful of states that could determine the outcome on Nov. 6.
Campaign adviser David Axelrod announced the new figure Monday. He said the campaign intends to provide a positive message about Obama's candidacy, but will respond to negative ads from Mitt Romney, the all-but-nominated Republican challenger.
In that vein, Obama's campaign released a new ad Monday portraying America as on the rise and urging voters to stick with the president.
In a shift from many of the campaign's earlier ads, this latest commercial focuses entirely on promoting Obama's record and makes no direct attacks on Romney.
Axelrod contrasted their approach to that of former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, who they said has continued a negative strategy he set during the campaign against his Republican rivals.
Still, Axelrod said Obama's team will respond to criticism forcefully, saying he expects Romney and outside groups that support him to continue pounding at the president and his policies. He referred to two groups, one counseled by former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove and another founded by billionaire oil industry brothers Charles and David Koch, as the "Karl and Koch brothers contract killers over there in super PAC land."
"We will treat every ad that comes from those entities as an ad from Gov. Romney and we will compare our record and our vision with his and we'll let the American people decide," Axelrod told reporters on a conference call.
The new ad, with its more uplifting message, underscores the campaign's recognition that Obama can't win a second term simply by attacking his opponent. Obama also needs to make the case that, despite continued economic unease, he has made things better for the American people and is the right steward for the economy going forward.