A new study by the media tracking group Kantar Media's CMAG finds that almost all of the negative TV advertising about Mitt Romney's role at Bain Capital has come from the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, not from the Obama campaign.
Earlier this summer, a number of high-profile Democrats, including President Bill Clinton, publicly criticized Obama's decision to attack Romney's work for the private equity firm.
"I don't think we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work; this is good work," Clinton said on CNN's adding: "There's no question that, in terms of getting up, going to the office, and basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who's been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold."
But, when it comes to TV advertising, it's not Obama who is doing the name calling.
The study by CMAG found that over the last three and a half months, "fewer than one percent of all ad occurrences sponsored by the Obama campaign have mentioned Bain Capital by name". Instead, it is the SuperPAC run by two former White House staffers - Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney - that is doing almost all of the heavy lifting on the Bain attack.
From April 10 through June 28, 2012, writes Kantar Media's CMAG, "100% of all ad occurrences sponsored by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action have mentioned Bain Capital by name."
In February, Obama reversed his long-standing opposition to SuperPACs and gave his approval to the fledgling group. Even so, Priorities USA has continued to lag behind Republican SuperPAC's Restore Our Future and American Crossroads in fundraising
Those who follow campaign advertising say advertising by Democratic and Republican SuperPACs is almost exclusively negative. And, while the campaigns are prohibited from co-coordinating with SuperPACs, you could even say that the dirty work of campaigning has been "outsourced" to these independent groups.