Rove-backed group spending $25M to slam Obama on the economy

screenshot of Crossroads GPS ad
Crossroads GPS/ YouTube

(CBS News) The Karl Rove-linked group Crossroads GPS announced Wednesday that it is launching a $25 million "issue advocacy" campaign to frame the presidential election on jobs, the economy, President Obama's health care overhaul and government debt.

The new campaign starts today with an ad airing in 10 key swing states, slamming Mr. Obama for his "broken" economic promises. The first ad run, which will last through May 31, costs $8 million. The new initiative is the latest show of strength from Crossroads GPS and the affiliated group American Crossroads, which aim on spending $300 million to influence the presidential election.

The initiative essentially matches a $25 million ad buy the Obama campaign announced earlier this month, but it one-ups it: The Obama ad is running in nine key states, while the Crossroads ad is running in those same states, plus the state of Michigan. The nine states in common are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The new Crossroads GPS ad shows Mr. Obama making promises he hasn't kept, including a 2009 pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. "We need solutions, not just promises," a narrator says, urging viewers to visit a Crossroads website The site details policy initiatives in the realms of health care, energy, regulation, deficits and debt, taxes and global leadership.

"President Obama made commitments on core issues to the American people, and this ad holds him to account," Crossroads GPS president Steven Law said in a statement. "Our country faces serious economic and fiscal problems which require practical solutions and not just promises. If we don't hold Washington politicians accountable, we won't fix these problems that are holding our country back."

Since Crossroads GPS is a tax-exempt nonprofit group, it can spend money on politics, but the majority of its money must be spent on policy issues. The group is not required to reveal its donors -- unlike its sister group American Crossroads, which is a political group.

However, the rule allowing Crossroads GPS to keep its donors secret may be changing. On Monday, a U.S. Court of Appeals panel declined to stay a district court ruling requiring tax-exempt organizations that run election-related television ads to disclose their donors.