Team Obama's response to 'Halftime in America' ad should make you nervous
Football fans around the world tuned into Super Bowl XLVI for an exciting game Sunday night. In this country alone, tens of millions watched the game.
Before the game’s start, NBC's Matt Lauer sat down with President Obama for an exclusive interview during which the president told Mr. Lauer that he "deserved" a second term.
Then, at halftime, viewers were treated to a Chrysler ad called, "Halftime in America," starring Clint Eastwood.
Here are my reactions to these two videos.
First, President Obama says he "deserves" a second term? That's up to the American people to decide. And in the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, just 11% say the economy is excellent or good, while 89% say it is not so good or poor, so maybe they have a different idea about whether Mr. Obama is deserving.
Second, regarding "Halftime in America," it was great ad, full of sentiments most can agree on. And I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, an American icon.
But administration officials and Obama campaign leaders immediately took to Twitter to draw attention to the ad as support for their man.
David Axlerod, Obama’s chief strategist, called the ad a “powerful spot” and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted: “Saving the America Auto Industry: Something Eminem and Clint Eastwood can agree on” (a reference to last year’s pro-Detroit Chrysler ad featuring rapper Eminem).
This response of Team Obama makes me nervous about the link between big government and the big businesses it bailed out.
Why did Team Obama need to put this ad in a political context? That made it appear that the president was being rewarded with corporate ads by a corporation that received billions in taxpayer dollars they'll never pay back. And guess what – maybe he was!
Remember: President Obama bailed out Chrysler and GM rather than making them go through bankruptcy like airlines and steel companies have. Then he used taxpayer dollars to reward union allies while screwing the secured bondholders.
The administration now admits taxpayers will lose $14 billion in the auto bailout. That may leave the management of these companies feeling they need to repay their political patrons. That’s what happens when government gets in bed with big business. And it stinks.
Karl Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. He is a Fox News contributor and author of "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions, 2010).