Obama, Romney buy $12 million-plus in Olympic ad time in Iowa, other key states

Ads from both candidates will be hard to avoid during coverage of Olympics

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The 2012 Olympics are getting political – and we’re not talking about the judging.

There will be no escaping the 2012 presidential race for viewers who tune into see the London games, especially for viewers in swing states like Iowa.

Restore Our Future, a pro-GOP super PAC, has announced purchasing $7.2 million worth of ad time during the coverage of the London Olympics. The buy counters President Obama’s re-election campaign's recent Olympic ad buy.

In addition to Iowa, the pro-Romney ads will be centered in 10 other battleground states. The ads will run July 31 through Aug. 9.

The Obama campaign bought $5.5 million of U.S. national advertising time for the London games, according to news reports. The ads will appear on the networks of NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, and NBC Sports Net.

In announcing the ads, Restore Our Future treasurer Charlie Spies noted that 10 years ago Romney rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics from scandal and financial ruin, “transforming a crushing deficit into a surplus and delivering a safe and secure Olympics less than a year after September 11.”

In what might be a hint about the ads’ content, Spies said Romney is a “proven leader who is capable of turning our economy around and creating an environment where we can once again realize the American Dream.”

Romney plans to attend the London Olympics with his wife, Ann, whose dressage horse will compete on the U.S. Equestrian team.

By comparison, in 2008, Republican John McCain bought $6 million of ad time during the Beijing games and Obama bought $5 million in time.

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