American Crossroads announces first ad buy of 2012 cycle [VIDEO]

Alec Jacobs Contributor
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American Crossroads, the conservative outside spending group founded by Karl Rove, has announced a $20 million ad campaign focused on President Obama’s handling of the economy.

Over the next two months, American Crossroads will air ads critical of the president in national and local markets in states they believe will be key in 2012. Among them: Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and Virginia.

The first ad buy, which cost $5 million, begins Monday. The ad, “Shovel Ready,” focuses on President Obama’s stimulus package passed in 2009. The group bashes the president for his claims that passing the stimulus would turn the economy around.

Steven Law, president of American Crossroads, told The Hill: “President Obama may have inherited a recession, but his policies have made things worse for everyday Americans by running up the debt and causing economic uncertainty.”

“Now Obama seems checked out of efforts to reduce America’s dangerous debt load,” Law continued, “while his party is pushing massive tax increases and even more spending.”

American Crossroads Chairman Mike Duncan says he expects the group to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 million during the 2012 campaign.

The ad buy is consistent with Karl Rove’s claim that his group would remain neutral during primary season, focusing on attacking the president rather than Republican primary candidates. Duncan echoed the sentiment at a breakfast with the Christian Science Monitor: “It is important for us to clearly state that Crossroads…will not be involved in the Republican presidential primary. We are just not going to [get involved].”