The two major-party presidential campaigns are going back to basics in the runup to their national conventions, hammering each other over the economy and trying to discredit the other side.
All in all, it's a harbinger of what the campaigns will be doing at the height of the political season this fall.
President Obama's re-election campaign released a new ad to run in eight battleground states accusing Republican challenger Mitt Romney of devising an economic plan that would raise taxes on the middle class and lower them for the rich. An Obama spokesman argued that Romney pays taxes at a lower rate than many middle-class Americans. "He pays less, you pay more," the ad says, citing a new study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Obama is scheduled to campaign Thursday in Virginia and Florida.
Romney is scheduled to stump in Colorado. The Romney campaign also released a new web video arguing that Obama "just doesn't understand who the real job creators are." A Romney spokeswoman said Obama has adopted policies that penalize business, especially small business.
Crossroads GPS, a super PAC allied with the Republicans, released a new TV ad in nine battleground states blasting Obama. It quotes CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley calling Obama's recovery "the worst economic recovery America has ever had."
"President Obama's failed solution to the economic downturn was to spend more through a massive stimulus, and now he wants to raise taxes," Crossroads GPS communications director Jonathan Collegio told reporters. "Real economy recovery starts with helping the private sector grow."
The Crossroads GPS $11 million ad campaign ad will run for 10 days in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Crossroads is a political action committee co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, who was the chief strategist for President George W. Bush.
The Democratic National Committee quickly fired back. A spokesman said the Crossroads GPS ad "ignores the president's record...Over the last three years of the current recovery, the economy created 2.2 million more private sector jobs than during the Bush recovery. In fact, under President Obama's leadership, the economy has gone from losing 750,000 jobs a month, to adding 4.4 million private sector jobs over the last 28 months."