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The many ways Karl Rove’s new attack ad distorts the facts

Following the lead of Americans for Prosperity’s unabashedly false attack ad, Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads is spending $25 million on a deceptive, month-long ad campaign to mislead Americans about the promises President Obama has kept in his first term.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the many ways Rove’s ad distorts the facts and tries to distract Americans from Mitt Romney’s economic record:


  • False: The ad claims that the President has not helped responsible homeowners who are facing foreclosures.

  • Fact: President Obama’s policies have helped over 1.1 million homeowners refinance and take advantage of historically low rates, and spurred public and private efforts to help over 5.9 million people keep their homes through mortgage modification.

  • Romney: Mitt Romney’s only plan to help Americans at risk of losing their homes is, “Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.

Middle-class tax cuts

  • False: The ad falsely insists that the President broke his promise to cut taxes for middle-class Americans.

  • Fact: Under President Obama, taxes on middle-class Americans are near lows not seen since the 1950s. A typical family making $50,000 a year has seen their taxes cut by $3,600 over the President’s first term in office. He also cut taxes on small businesses 18 times, including recently passed tax credits for hiring unemployed veterans.

  • Romney: Romney raised more than $750 million a year in taxes and fees while Governor of Massachusetts, imposing more fee hikes than any other state in 2003 and hitting taxpayers’ pocketbooks as hard as any tax increase and, “less fairly as well.” And even as Romney would cut taxes for millionaires by an average of $250,000, he would raise taxes on 18 million working families.

Health care coverage

  • False: The ad wrongly claims that Americans won’t be able to keep their insurance plan under Obamacare.

  • Fact: Obamacare actually expands access to quality, affordable health care insurance. Most Americans get insurance through their employer, and the law doesn’t change that. There are now incentives that encourage employers to offer and continue to offer coverage to workers. Health reform also will prevent insurance companies from dropping people who have pre-existing conditions or capping coverage.

  • Romney: If elected, Romney promised to “kill” Obamacare on day one, jeopardizing coverage and care for millions of Americans.

Deficit reduction

  • False: Rove’s ad claims President Obama is wantonly increasing spending rather than working to reduce the deficit.

  • Fact: Despite inheriting the largest deficit relative to the economy since the end of World War II, President Obama has put forth a plan to reduce our deficit by over $4 trillion over the next decade. His plan would bring discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since President Eisenhower was in office. In fact, spending, taxes, and the deficit are all lower as a share of the economy since President Obama took office.

  • Romney: As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney raised the state’s debt by $2.6 billion—a 16 percent increase. And now, he’s pushing policies—including extending the Bush tax cuts and giving even deeper tax cuts to the wealthy—that could explode the deficit by as much as $5 trillion.

Rove is working hard and spending a lot of money to distort reality. But he cannot hide the fact that the President is delivering on his promises, nor the simple fact that Romney would return to the failed policies that caused the economic crisis and weakened the middle class.

Watch Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter dismantle the ad here.