Following a dismal May jobs report, President Obama's re-election campaign has retooled its economic pitch in battleground states, putting renewed emphasis on the American Jobs Act and a Congress that has refused to enact it.
A new, positive Obama campaign TV ad called "Jobs" will begin airing this week in nine states in an effort to remind voters that Obama has had a plan to put Americans back to work "right away," the campaign said.
"The president's jobs plan would put teachers, firefighters, police officers and construction workers back to work. Right now," the narrator says of the $447 billion proposal, which Obama first unveiled in a rare address to a joint session of Congress last September.
The White House has estimated the package could create up to 1.9 million new jobs. "And it's paid for by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. But Congress refuses to act," the ad says.
The 30-second spot makes no mention of presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney, focusing solely on Republicans in Congress as deserving of blame for why job growth has lagged. They largely oppose Obama's plan, because it would impose higher taxes on wealthier Americans.
"They made a determination that politics should trump what was needed to move this country forward. And they have tried to put sand in the gears in Congress ever since," Obama told donors at a New York City fundraiser on Monday.
"And now they've got a nominee who's expressing support for an agenda that would reverse the progress we've made and take us back to the exact same policies that got us into this mess in the first place," he said, referring to Romney's tax cut proposals.
Obama has presided over 27 months of private sector job growth that have added 4.3 million jobs to the economy. But the monthly gains have been anemic and unemployment has lingered above 8 percent.
"Americans know we aren't moving in the right direction today, and they can't afford more of the same," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in response to the new Obama ad. "As president, Mitt Romney will enact a pro-growth agenda that gets our economy back on track and allows our small businesses and job creators to thrive."
Obama's argument: His plan hasn't fully been given a try.
"Jobs" will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and on national cable TV starting next week, the campaign said.