- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2009

The Republican National Committee is using President Obama’s own words against him in a tough new ad that points out the nation’s rising unemployment numbers as it shows the president with his feet up on his desk and defending his economic stimulus plan.

The campaign-style Web ad repeatedly uses a clip of Mr. Obama telling ABC News this week from Moscow, “There’s nothing that we would have done differently.”

The spot highlights recent news reports about wasteful stimulus spending, interspersed with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. saying on ABC last weekend that the administration “misread” the economy. It also notes the administration’s stimulus Web site, Recovery.gov, will be getting a costly overhaul.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan said the ad’s claims have been proved false by fact-checkers and said it’s “rich” for Republicans to complain about the stimulus plan, “which rescued us from the Bush-Cheney financial disaster that they helped create, and which is now beginning to rebuild our economy and create jobs.”

“If Republicans would have had their way they’d have done ‘nothing’ at all,” he said.

As Mr. Obama’s poll numbers drop in key states such as Ohio over fiscal worries, the ad offers a preview of the anti-White House talking points the nation is likely to keep hearing as Congress considers whether the ailing economy needs a second stimulus program.

The commercial features fast-paced instrumental music and closes with the narrator making a point Republicans are likely to keep pushing: “An economy in trouble, soaring unemployment, soaring deficits, stimulus money misused. Obama’s answer? ‘There’s nothing that we would have done differently.’ ”

It calls the $787 billion package of tax cuts and spending passed in Mr. Obama’s second month in office a “failed stimulus plan” and blames the president for the government’s $1.8 trillion budget deficit. Democrats and the White House have dismissed this notion, arguing the deficit was more than $1 trillion when Mr. Obama took office Jan. 20.

During the ABC interview highlighted in the commercial, Mr. Obama added, “We needed a stimulus and we needed a substantial stimulus.”

“Some of the money in the short term [was needed] just to help stop the free fall and then some other dollars that were going to be designed to put people to back to work. We’ll have more ripple effects in the economy, that money is in place and I think is going to make a big difference,” he said, later talking about his own worries about the ballooning deficit.

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