I saw this one on swing-state-TV in the Philadelphia burbs, and it’s really got it all.
Here’s the challenge. Republican strategists, at various levels, glom on to Obama quotes that sound brutal if taken out of context. Back in June, they took “the private sector is doing fine” out of an Obama rumination that the public sector needed more help. Many times, as they knew, he had added a caveat that the private sector’s growth wasn’t enough. But he dropped it this time, and they claimed he literally saw no problems in the private sector. In July, they insisted that “we tried our plan” was an Obama reference to his own policy, when everyone who saw the speech knew it was a reference to Clinton tax policy. “The truncated version of the Obama quote is insanely misleading,” I said then. “At best, it’ll only appear in $10.4 million or so of TV ads.”
I probably lowballed the size of the ad buys. The beauty of the misleading quote is that it gets passed just about any legal standard for fairness. You won’t see a TV station pull an ad if it only quotes the middle of a sentence.