MILWAUKEE -- Presidential politics is hitting Wisconsin in a big way! President Barack Obama is launching his campaign ads in several states, and Wisconsin happens to be one of them.
In 2008, Obama easily locked down a Wisconsin victory in the presidential race. Thursday, the president chose Wisconsin as one of several states in which is first 2012 campaign ad will run. Republicans say running the ad in Wisconsin shows the president no longer considers this state politically safe. "President Obama clearly recognizes that he is in deep trouble with the electorate in Wisconsin and feels it's necessary to take to the airwaves with this desperate ad that lacks a coherent message whatsoever," Ted Kanavas with the Wisconsin Romney Campaign said.
Democrats say the presient is merely responding to prior ads that have attacked his policies. "Wisconsin's one of the targeted areas where oil billionaires are spending money to derail the president's agenda, so I think it's important the president responds to these," Graeme Zielinski with the Wisconsin Democratic Party said.
Meanwhile, the co-chair of the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney's campaign, says the issue the president will have to defend will be his record. "President Obama understands there are going to be seven or eight key battleground states. Wisconsin wil be one of them, and he's going to have to spend a tremendous amount of money to be competitive," Kanavas said.
In a statement, the Wisconsin Obama Campaign says the ad "was an opportunity to educate Americans about the president's strong energy record.
The ad is running throughout Wisconsin, and a set of other critical states including Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The issue the ad is responding to is one his critics are targeting: the administration's decision to grant a loan to a solar energy company which eventually went bankrupt, and to criticism of the president's clean energy initiatives.