After watching liberal allies of President Barack Obama flood the airwaves in support of the stimulus bill, a conservative third-party group is countering with a provocative new commercial using Jesus Christ to emphasize the scale of the $787 billion package.
The American Issues Project, which briefly aired a TV spot in last year's presidential race, will go up on Friday with a TV spot that marks the dollars spent with the passage of time.
“Suppose you spent $1 million every single day starting from the day Jesus was born — and kept spending through today,” says the announcer as an image of the three wise men flashes on the screen. “A million dollars a day for more than 2,000 years. You would still have spent less money than Congress just did.”
According to Chris LaCivita, an AIP consultant, they are spending just under $1 million on the ad, which will be aired on national cable.
The 60-second ad also singles out an eyebrow-raising statement made by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the Senate floor.
“Let me say this, to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little tiny, yes, porky amendments — the American people really don’t care,” Schumer said.
Then, echoing one of Obama’s signature campaign slogans, the announcer asks: “Is this change you can believe in?”
The ad, titled “Every Single Day,” represents the first television campaign by conservatives in opposition to a bill that won only three Republican votes in the Senate and none in the House.
LaCivita said AIP would also revive its website as part of an effort to take a more aggressive stance toward Obama and Democratic-controlled Washington.
AIP, like most other third-party groups, largely went silent in last year’s presidential campaign, a product of the economic collapse, disregard for Sen. John McCain and a view that the election was a long shot.
One of the groups that did air ads, though, has also reemerged in the wake of the stimulus bill.
The National Republican Trust political action committee, which in the final days of the presidential campaign spent millions airing an ad featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is attacking the three Republican senators, Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter, as well as Arkansas Democrat Sen. Blanche L. Lincoln, for their support of what has been the centerpiece of Obama’s agenda.
While the stimulus may have roused an otherwise-moribund Republican Party, conservatives are late to the game. A coalition of liberal groups, led by Americans United for Change, has been airing TV and radio ads on the bill in Washington, D.C., and targeted states for a month in support of the bill.