A Republican advocacy group, channeling a Hollywood movie preview, released a stinging web video Wednesday that criticizes President Obama for using rhetoric to "scare the nation" about spending cuts and suggests despite his assertion that he has been leading on debt and deficit negotiations, the president is out-of-touch on the issue.
American Crossroads, a 527 group that supports conservative, federal candidates, unveiled the video Wednesday as debt negotiations steam toward an August deadline while, at the same time, the 2012 campaign season begins to heat up. It juxtaposes audio and video clips of Obama to swipe at his leadership in the negotiations.
Cut with clips from last week's White House press conference in which Obama discusses potential cuts to medical research, college scholarships and food safety programs, the voice in the video says, "When things don't go his way... He'll say what it takes... to scare a nation," in a rather scary tone of its own.
But the president argued at the news conference that Democrats and Republicans have to look deep into the federal budget to make cuts from a broad array of programs.
"We can't get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the weather service," Obama told reporters. " And we can't just do it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. So we're going to need to look at the whole budget, as I said several months ago. And we've got to eliminate waste wherever we find it and make some tough decisions about worthy priorities."
The video goes on to criticize the president's admonishment of congressional leaders for not yet reaching an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and for his assertion that he has spent his time working hard on a variety of international issues.
"They're in one week, they're out one week," the president said in the news conference. " And then they're saying, Obama has got to step in. You need to be here. I've been here. I've been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let's get it done."
Editors of the American Crossroads video interspersed some of those comments with video clips of the president playing ping-pong with British Prime Minister David Cameron and drinking a beer at an Irish pub on a recent trip to Europe, playing golf and speaking at a fundraiser.
Obama's suggestion that Congress stay in Washington to work on the budget is thought to have spurred Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to cancel this week's Independence Day recess to work on fiscal issues.