LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday began running a TV ad that emphasizes his accountant credentials as key to building a "strong foundation" for Michigan's recovery, promising voters who have not benefited from the resurgence that they soon will.
The ad is the first of several that the first-term governor is expected to air continually from now until the Nov. 4 election against Democrat Mark Schauer. It is the fourth his re-election campaign has run in the past year and the first since June.
Unlike in the earlier ads, Snyder himself is more prominent — speaking the entire 60 seconds, sometimes directly into the screen. The "Numbers" ad does not include his familiar refrains of being a nerd or Michigan becoming the comeback state but includes his regular complaint that "politics" hurt the state in the past.
"We're on the road to recovery for every Michigander. You might not feel it yet, but you will soon," Snyder says before citing the elimination of a $1.5 billion budget deficit, the addition of $1 billion in education funding, the state's lowest unemployment rate in six years and the creation of nearly 300,000 private-sector jobs.
"The credit never goes to the person who built a strong foundation, but that's what you have to do first. And that's why we have accountants," says Snyder, who worked as a tax accountant at Coopers & Lybrand — now PricewaterhouseCoopers — in the 1980s.
The campaign did not disclose how much is being spent to air the first ad. But a review of Federal Communications Commission files showed at least $440,000 of airtime was bought on major network stations in the Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint and Traverse City markets for the first week of September.
Schauer spokeswoman Cathy Bacile Cunningham said the ad confirms Snyder's policies are not working for the middle class.
"The fact that Snyder is lecturing voters about when they'll 'feel' a recovery, and complaining about not getting enough credit, just shows that this governor is not on the side of regular people," she said in a statement that also criticized the governor for eliminating or reducing tax exemptions on retirement income and ending the child tax credit.
Polls this summer have shown the candidates about even.
An EPIC-MRA poll of 600 likely voters surveyed Aug. 22-25 had Schauer with 45 percent support, Snyder 43 percent and 12 percent as undecided. The sampling error margin was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The poll came in a month when Schauer ran his first TV ad and was bolstered by an ad from the Democratic Governors Association, which has spent more in Michigan this election cycle than in any other state. Now Snyder and the Republican Governors Association are both up with ads while the DGA and Schauer ads were on a hiatus as of Tuesday.
Snyder had about $2.2 million more in campaign funds than Schauer as of July 20, the last reporting deadline. Both campaigns are due to file new fundraising reports on Thursday.
"Numbers" ad: http://bit.ly/Y9jE07
Follow David Eggert at http://twitter.com/DavidEggert00