The Republican National Committee released a Web ad on Wednesday, knocking Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her remarks over the weekend about the state of the economy.
On NBC's “Meet the Press,” the Florida Congresswoman said, “Because we were able to, under President Obama's leadership, turn this economy around,” in response to a question about why Americans should trust Democrats with their governance of the economy.
The ad, set to a hip-hop beat that sounds not unlike something out of a Dr. Dre album, questions that assertion with a series of facts about the struggling economy, including 9.1 percent unemployment. The visual tagline for the ad: “They’ll say anything to save their own jobs. But what have they done to save yours.”
The ad telegraphs a broader theme that the GOP will be honing in on over the next 17 months.
“This election is going to be about the economy and the president’s record on it — or lack thereof,” RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said in an interview.
Obama has taken a more restrained tack in explaining his economic record than Wasserman Schultz has. At a fundraiser on Monday night, the president did not say he has turned the economy around, but he simply stated a fact: “An economy that was contracting is now growing,” he said. Real gross domestic product was shrinking in the first quarter of 2009, when the president took office. In the first quarter of 2011, it grew by 1.8 percent.
Other proxies for the Obama administration, including first lady Michelle Obama, have used a more dialed-back economic message in recent days.
“We have gone from an economy that was on the brink of collapse to an economy that is starting to grow again,” the first lady said Tuesday at a DNC event, a few rhetorical steps away from a turnaround.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.