Obama campaign goes on the attack ahead of bus tour
In a new television advertisement and during a conference call with reporters, the campaign and its allies tore into Republican challenger Mitt Romney for pushing policies and practices they say cost middle-class jobs and netted the former private equity executive millions.
The 30-second television advertisement, “Believes,” is airing in Ohio and Pennsylvania ahead of the President’s trip, as well as in several other states — such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Virginia — the campaign sees as crucial to winning another term in the White House.
An Obama campaign spokesman declined to comment on the cost of the “Believes” buy but called it “significant” in an email message.
The ad opens with a portrait of Obama and Romney side by side and a narrator declaring that “what a president believes matters.” Obama drops away and a narrator says that Romney embraces strategies that lead to the outsourcing of jobs. Obama, on the other hand, championed a government-led bailout that helped to save the American auto industry and along with it precious jobs in the nation’s beleaguered manufacturing heartland, the ad claims.
The campaign expounded upon this pitch — that given another term, Obama would push policies that “insourced” middle-class jobs and Romney would grease the rails for his corporate brethren who “outsource” — in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. Citing an article in Vanity Fair, a campaign spokesman called on Romney to answer questions about his use of off-shore accounts in tax havens such as Bermuda.
“The question is, why? Was he avoiding paying his fair share of U.S. taxes? Was he hedging against the dollar? Until he releases his tax returns from that period, Americans will never know,” said Ben LaBolt, a campaign spokesman.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg jabbed back, saying that spending “millions of dollars on untrue ads won’t change the fact that President Obama’s policies have left more than 23 million Americans struggling for work.”
It released an infographic detailing the gap between the jobs the White House sought to create with its economic stimulus program and the current unemployment rate, which economists expect to hold steady at 8.2 percent.
The Obama campaign for months has sought to undermine Romney’s pitch on the economy and his business record by positioning his past career as a myopic pursuit of profits for his partners ahead of workers’ welfare.
It also seeks to convince voters that the president’s policies — and not the policies of local lawmakers and governors such as Mitch Daniels of Indiana and John Kasich of Ohio — are more responsible for economic improvements in some states.
“I don’t want to say that [Governor Kasich] has had nothing to do with that, but the larger share of Ohio’s economic progress is due to the actions of president Barack Obama,” said former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland on the campaign’s conference call.