Outside political groups kick off early 2012 ad war

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

Election Day 2012 is still more than 16 months away, but the ad wars are already starting to heat up.

Priorities Action USA, a Democratic "super PAC" founded by two former aides to President Obama, launched TV ads in key 2012 swing states aiming to counter an anti-Obama ad blitz announced last week by American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two conservative political groups with links to former Bush adviser Karl Rove.

The PAU ad calls out Rove by name, declaring Crossroads' recent ad trashing Obama on the economy "politics at its worst," and accuses the GOP of supporting legislation that would "essentially end Medicare."

You can watch the PAU ad here:

The group is spending $750,000 to run the spot in Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia Florida and Colorado. That's a far smaller ad buy than the Crossroads push, which is valued at $5 million and is airing on national cable and in swing states including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia.

The conservative group's first ad slammed Obama on high unemployment, gas prices, and the national debt and declared the president's economic agenda has "failed."

You can watch the ad here:

The initial ad buy is just the opening salvo in what will be a long summer of ads attacking Obama's economic policies. A spokesman for American Crossroads said last week the group plans to spend in upwards of $20 million over the next two months in attempt to shape the national debate on jobs, the debt crisis and the economy.

All told, both groups have pledged to spend at least $100 million apiece in an attempt to influence the 2012 presidential campaign.

(Screenshot of Priorities Action USA ad via YouTube)