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Conservative nonprofit makes $25m ad buy

Countering the Obama campaign’s massive ad buy of last week, the independent conservative group Crossroads GPS on Wednesday announced a plan to spend $25 million airing an attack ad in 10 swing states.

The 60-second ad accuses the president of breaking promises to assist struggling homeowners, hold down taxes for households making less than $250,000 per year, let people keep private health insurance plans they like, and cut the federal deficit in half.

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The last point is one presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other Republicans have hammered this week. In Iowa Tuesday, Romney pointed to the growing national debt and said the president is “putting off difficult decisions with the hope that maybe someone else will solve them.”

Crossroads GPS and its sister group, American Crossroads, were co-founded by Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, and Ed Gillespie, a current Romney strategist. American Crossroads is a super PAC, but Crossroads GPS is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit “dedicated to educating, equipping and engaging American citizens,” according to IRS filings. By virtue of its nonprofit status, Crossroads GPS does not have to disclose the names of its donors, who have given as much as $10.1 million at a time.

The two Crossroads groups were mostly dormant during the primary season, not backing any particular Republican candidate, but are poised to be major players in the general election. They have set $300 million as a spending target to defeat Obama.

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The Obama campaign last Monday announced a $25 million advertising push targeting nine battleground states in what was by far the biggest single purchase of the election cycle to date.

In its ad matching Obama’s expenditure, Crossroads GPS “holds him to account,” according to Steven Law, the super PAC’s president.

“Our country faces serious economic and fiscal problems which require practical solutions and not just promises,” Law said in a statement. “If we don’t hold Washington politicians accountable, we won’t fix these problems that are holding our country back.”

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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