President Obama is rebutting Republican attacks on his " private sector is doing fine" comment with a new TV ad meant to highlight his empathy with economically struggling Americans and plan to make things better.
The 30-second spot, titled "Rebuild," began airing today in nine battleground states, a campaign official said.
"I talk to folks on rope lines, in coffee shops, people who have been out of work. I can tell it wears on them," Obama says in the opening scene of the ad.
Over images of the president interacting with average Americans - shaking hands, giving hugs, and talking to kids - the narrator says the administration's plan for economic recovery "keeps taxes down for the middle class, invests in education and asks the wealthy to pay their fair share."
Of GOP rival Mitt Romney, the ad says he "and his billionaire allies can spend millions to distort the president's words. But they are not interested in rebuilding the middle class."
Earlier this month, the Romney campaign began airing an ad criticizing Obama for his "doing fine" comment, juxtaposing it with a slew of indicators of a struggling economy.
"How can the president fix our economy if he doesn't understand it's broken," a message on screen reads.
The new Obama ad, which was not widely announced to the press or Obama's supporters, began airing today in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Florida, the campaign said. It was first reported by the Huffington Post.