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Hot Ads of the Week: GOP Challengers Hitting Dems Hard

Welcome back to Hot Ads of the Week. The ads keep coming and more and more Republican challengers are hitting hard at the Democrats for the economy, health care, and in one particularly interesting ad, for just about everything.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Election 2010

"Part of the Problem"

For ad #1, we'll start in Washington State - where Republican Dino Rossi is taking on the incumbent senator, Democrat Patty Murray, for what has become a crucial seat in the Senate balance of power game. Rossi hits Murray for her time in Washington.

And like many challengers nationally, he suggests that those in Congress, including Murray, just don't get it. Rossi accuses Murray of attacking his record because she can't defend her own.

"It's clear that the people in charge including Senator Murray can't admit what they are doing isn't working or when it's failed," he says.

"Really what Patty Murray is going to try to do is distract from an 18-year record of taxing, spending and growing government that's indefensible. She's part of the problem," he goes on. And hitting a line that many challengers have used this year he ends the ad with: "To save our future, we have to change Washington, DC now."


Angry in Ohio

Ad #2 is an ad where the Democrat incumbent plays into the nation's frustration, saying that "Ohioans are Angry," and "I'm Angry too." The incumbent is Governor Ted Strickland who is facing a tough race against GOP challenger John Kasich.

Strickland is seen in the ad speaking to workers at a manufacturing plant. "Wall Street got their recovery and executives who outsourced our jobs, they got their bonuses, but we are putting a stop to that right here in Ohio," he says.

Ticking off a list of accomplishments, Strickland says "to help business create jobs, we cut taxes." And at the end of the ad, with a dramatic pause, he says "I don't work for the Wall Street guys, I work for you."


Rubio says D.C. is Broken

For number three, we go to the three-way Senate race in Florida. GOP candidate Marco Rubio is on the air in the Sunshine State with an ad that appears to be positive, but ends up hitting his opponents for being career politicians, just without saying their names.

"Washington isn't just broke, it's broken," he says speaking to the camera with soft calming music playing in the background. "But it won't get better if we keep electing politicians who will say or do anything to get elected."

After reciting a litany of problems about debt, foreign borrowing and spending, Rubio says "Typical politicians just don't get it." He continues hinting that people need to take action and vote to change the country and that it won't just happen anyway.

"American is the greatest country in the world, but it didn't get that way by accident and it won't stay that way automatically," he says.


Rick Scott's a Good Boy

We'll stay in Florida for ad #4 - a personal, somewhat charming ad for GOP governor candidate Rick Scott. Scott won the GOP nomination by beating the party backed candidate Bill McCollum and now faces Democrat Alex Sink.

Scott was the head of the hospital chain, Columbia/HCA, which was hit with a record fine for Medicare fraud. The Democrats are calling him the "Madoff of Medicare" and this ad is aimed to show voters that Scott is not a bad guy.

"You've heard a lot about Rick Scott, but I'm going to tell you a few things you don't know," says the ad's narrator and star, Esther Scott, Rick's mother. "Rick was raised in public housing. After high school, he joined the Navy. Rick saved some money, bought a little donut shop and gave his mom a job."

Over old pictures of Scott as a young boy and young adult, with soft music in the background, Rick's mom says he'll do a good job for the state.

"We didn't have much, but we gave him everything we could. Good values, Integrity and appreciation for hard work. He's a good boy. He'll get Florida back to work," she says,


Mourning in America

Number five brings us back to the Reagan years. This minute long ad running on cable is from a group called "Citizens for the Republic" -

which is run by some former Ronald Reagan staffers.

The ad plays off of Reagan's classic "Morning Again in America" ad which was very positive about where things were after his first term in office.

This ad is the complete opposite in tone, with a similar slow powerful narration, slamming President Obama for failure and a weakened country, instilling fear and anger instead of hope and inspiration.

The ad though is a near complete mirror in image - including references to people working and couples getting married. The imagery of the new ad includes families with young children at a funeral and many pictures of babies and young kids waving flags. Besides the different spelling, from "Morning" to "Mourning" - the new ad makes other changes to the sentiments first played 26 years ago:

  • The 1984 Ad: "Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history"
  • The 2010 Ad: "Today, 15 million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work"
  • The 1984 Ad: "Under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder, and stronger, and better."
  • The 2010 Ad: "Under the leadership of President Obama, our country is fading, and weaker, and worse off. His policies were a grand experiment - policies that failed."

The new ad ends with: "This November let's choose a smaller, more caring government ... one that remembers us."


This weeks' honorable mention comes from Sarah Palin. It's her second highly produced web video of 2010 and this time it focus on the Tea Party and how much she respects the movement.

Sarah Palin Looks Like 2012 Candidate in New Tea Party Video
Sarah Palin Inches Toward Presidential Run


Don't forget to vote for your favorite below - no surprise here, last week's winner, with more than 75 percent of the vote, was John Dennis's Wizard of Oz ad against Nancy Pelosi.



Critical Contests: Interactive Map with CBS News' Election 2010 Race Ratings


Robert Hendin and Jill Jackson are CBS News Senior Political Producers. You can read more of Jill's posts in Hotsheet here or follow her on Twitter. More of Robert's posts in Hotsheet are here and you can follow him on Twitter here.
  • Jill Jackson On Twitter»

    Jill Jackson is a CBS News senior political producer.