Adwatch: Rick Perry's ad in Iowa on jobs

AP News
Posted: Oct 26, 2011 6:04 PM
Adwatch: Rick Perry's ad in Iowa on jobs

TITLE: "Creating Jobs."

LENGTH: 30 seconds

AIRING: In Iowa broadcast television markets and on cable in the leadoff caucus state.

KEY IMAGES: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry narrates this ad, aimed at presenting the Texas governor as a prolific jobs creator. It begins with Perry facing the camera and claiming he will create at least 2.5 million new jobs as president. It cuts away to shots of Perry meeting with factory and construction workers, as Perry says "In Texas we've created over one million new jobs while the rest of the nation lost over two million." It moves to shots of oil rigs, while Perry says: "I'll start by opening American oil and gas fields" and goes on to argue that eliminating "President Obama's regulations that hurt other sources of domestic energy like coal and natural gas...will create jobs and reduce our reliance on oil from countries that hate America."

ANALYSIS: Perry's first ad of the 2012 campaign comes as he also trots out a sweeping tax and entitlement program proposal and reinforces his campaign staff in an attempt to stabilize his candidacy, after a steady drop in national polls. His promise of new jobs is an effort to portray confidence based on his record in Texas. However, his claim is modest, considering the scale of U.S. unemployment today.

There are nearly 14 million Americans out of work in the United States. Reaching Perry's goal would bring unemployment from its current 9.1 percent to 7.5 percent, but still well above the 5.5 percent most economists consider consistent with a healthy economy.

It would be a vast improvement over what's happened since Democratic President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Since then, the economy has lost 2.2 million jobs. But the U.S. economy would have a long way to go, even if Perry were to reach his goal. The economy has 6.6 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in December 2007.

Perry has campaigned for more than two months on the ad's central premise: That Texas has added 1 million jobs in his decade as governor and that he is due a significant share of the credit for his administration's agenda of lower taxes, reduced regulation and limits on lawsuits. Perry's chief rival, Mitt Romney, attributes the growth largely to Texas' luck at having an oil and gas industry. Employment in that industry has grown by 60 percent during Perry's tenure.

Other factors in Texas' job growth include the state's affordable housing and low cost of living, which have helped the state's population grow by 20 percent in the past decade.

Perry also points to the Texas Enterprise Fund, an aggressive state economic development incentive he claims has netted 58,000 new jobs since 2003. However, Texas officials put the figure closer to 30,750 new positions.

While Perry says Obama administration rules hurt natural gas, gas production is booming nationally thanks in large part to a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The technique has been questioned by environmentalists and faces new scrutiny from federal regulators at the Energy and Interior departments and the Environmental Protection Agency. Fracking is currently exempt from federal regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.


AP reporter Christopher S. Rugaber in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.