Olympics a time for sports - and politics

US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Getty Images

Obama and Romney duel it out over economy
US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Getty Images
(CBS News) Swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will not be the only rivalry at the London Olympics set to begin in just a few weeks, the race between President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney will also be on display as millions of people who watch the Olympic Games will see presidential political ads.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, announced Thursday that it bought $7.2 million of ad time to run in 11 battleground states during the Olympics. The ads will run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania Virginia and Wisconsin, all states that both candidates are spending heavily in.

It is unclear if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who will be in London watching the opening ceremony, will run its own ads - the campaign would not confirm its advertising spending. But Mr. Obama's campaign, The New York Times reported this morning, is purchasing $5.5 million worth of advertising.

Some of the political ads are expected to be aired during the opening ceremony, which is a widely watched event. More than 34 million viewers watched the Beijing opening ceremonies.

In 2008, the campaign of then-candidate Obama and his GOP rival, John McCain, together bought $11 million worth of ads during the Beijing Olympics.

The McCain campaign ran the ad, "Celebrity", during the '08 summer Games, which compared Mr. Obama to socialite Paris Hilton and performer Britney Spears.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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