The Republican National Committee is airing a TV ad in key states ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address, taking aim at Obama’s stewardship of the economy over his past three years in office.
The 30-second ad, which is airing in Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and Michigan, reminds viewers that 13 million Americans are unemployed and 49 million are living below the poverty line.
It also includes a clip from an October interview in which Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he doesn’t believe Americans are “better off than they were four years ago.”
The ad, however, excludes the full context for the quote, in which Obama goes on to refer to the 2008 financial crisis, which took place before he became president.
In a statement, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that Obama “has a lot of a explaining to do in tonight’s State of the Union address.”
“One year ago, he stood before the American people and promised he would tackle the housing crisis, rampant joblessness and get our economy back on track,” he said. “But one year later, it’s more than clear that his sole priority is getting reelected.”
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer responded to GOP criticism in an interview on Fox News Channel earlier Tuesday, arguing that it would be “disappointing” if congressional Republicans “want to spend the next year just playing politics trying to hurt the President.”