Obama ads were filmed in West Wing
POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 2:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 2:14am
CNN — Two new ads released this week by President Barack Obama's campaign were filmed in the West Wing, sources confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
An unusual approach, both commercials were taped in the White House chief of staff's office just steps from the Oval Office. Incumbent presidents generally strive to keep campaign activities outside of the White House.
ABC News first reported earlier Tuesday that one of the spots was taped in the West Wing.
In the first ad, "The Choice," which was released on Monday, Obama lays out what he describes as two different visions - that of his own campaign and that of Mitt Romney. Obama looks directly into the camera and tells voters, "Over the next four months, you have a choice to make."
The second ad, "Always," which was released on Tuesday, features Obama rebutting attacks from Romney over the president's recent comments about small businesses.
The White House stood by its decision to film the two spots so closely to the Oval Office, and pointed to presidents past who used the same tactic.
Among other examples, former President Ronald Reagan cut a more than four-minute-long television commercial in the Oval Office in 1984, and former President Bill Clinton's campaign also shot footage of the president at his desk for a campaign commercial in 1996.
A spokesperson from the Republican National Committee, however, said the White House ad showed Obama was "out of touch."
"While the president claims he has too much on his plate to meet with his jobs council, it looks like he found time to film a political campaign ad in the White House showing just how out of touch Obama really is," said Kirsten Kukowski, referring to reports that the president has not met with the so-called jobs council in six months.
Last year, Republicans pounced on a video that Obama's re-election campaign had filmed in the Map Room. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus accused the president of committing an "apparent crime" by taping a video that is "not part of the White House residence, but rather 'occupied in the discharge of official duties.'" He called for the Department of Justice to investigate.
It is illegal to solicit contributions for a political purpose from any area of the White House "occupied in the discharge of official duties," or, used for purposes of official White House business.
But the Map Room is considered to be part of the White House residence, and has been for decades. The residence is not subject to restrictions placed on rooms used for official business.
CNN's John King, Brianna Keilar, Athena Jones, Rebecca Stewart, and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
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