DNC ad makes obvious presidential politicization of jobs crisis, violates House ethics rules

It should have been obvious to anyone who watched the president’s jobs speech Thursday that it was as much a stump speech as it was a policy proposal — but just in case it wasn’t, the Democratic National Committee today released a 30-second ad that made it abundantly clear.

As Townhall.com’s Erika Johnsen put it:

The “the next election is fourteen months away” meme in these ads is a thinly veiled attempt to make our economic problems look like political fails, instead of policy fails. The President is accusing the GOP of spitefully standing in the way of economic progress in order to keep the President unpopular until November 2012. So, in a nutshell, he’s reproaching everyone else for playing politics, while unabashedly playing politics.

But if the members of the House Ethics Committee wanted to, they could call the DNC out for a technical rules violation. Amanda Carey reports:

Despite the ad’s simplicity, it appears to violate House ethics rules that prohibit members of Congress from using footage of floor or committee proceedings for political purposes.

House Rule 5, clause 2(c)(1) says that “Broadcast coverage and recordings of House floor proceedings may not be used for any political purpose…” Additionally, House Rule 11, clause 4(b) says that “radio and television tapes and film of any coverage of House committee proceedings may not be use, or made available for use, as partisan political campaign material to promote or oppose the candidacy of any person for public office.”

Normally House ethics rules aren’t a problem for the DNC. But since April of this year, a member of Congress, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida, has chaired the national committee. Some say that the House ethics rule applies to the DNC ad for the simple reason that Wasserman-Schultz is chair.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to the Ethics Committee to decide,” Sean Spicer, Communications Director of the Republican National Committee (RNC), told The Daily Caller. “But Congresswoman Schultz appears to have violated House rules by using a political speech for political purposes.”

Either way, the ad was ill-advised, handily making the point that Democrats and the president want to politicize the jobs crisis.