Swing state ad from hawkish Democrats hits Romney on foreign policy

By Eric Johnson
October 5, 2012

A group of hawkish Democrats with close ties to President Obama’s re-election campaign announced on Thursday a new swing state television advertisement attacking Mitt Romney on national security and foreign policy issues.

The 60-second advertisement by the Truman National Security Project is part of a low six-figure media buy and is set to run in veteran-heavy Ohio, one of a handful of states that could prove pivotal to the Nov. 6 election.

The advertisement oscillates between press footage and a montage of young veterans speaking directly to a camera questioning Republican White House candidate Mitt Romney’s ability to keep Americans safe in a dangerous and unpredictable world.

“We deserve a Commander in Chief that understands what is at stake,” says Army Veteran Keith Johnson. “You don’t seem to have a plan, Mr. Romney.”

It jabs Romney for not mentioning in his nomination acceptance speech the war in Afghanistan and says the former governor of Massachusetts seems to be “grasping after straws” on tough foreign policy issues.

“You have shown us from London to Libya that you are in over your head,” says Army Veteran, Brett Hunt, according to a script.

There are more than 20 million American veterans, 15.8 million of whom cast ballots in the 2008 election cycle, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many veterans live in states key to Obama’s re-election, such as Ohio, where there are more than 900,000 veterans, according to Department of Veterans Affairs data.

The ad, which will also run online in Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., does not specifically repeat attack lines used by the campaign and Democrats. Such criticisms have stemmed from Romney questioning England’s readiness to host the recent Olympic Games and his reaction to attacks on an American consulate that left four Americans dead in Libya.

Obama fought to deflect criticism he was weak on foreign policy during his first White House bid against Arizona Senator John McCain, a former pilot, in 2008. But as president, Obama has presided over military operations that killed dozens of Al Qaeda operatives and Osama Bin Laden.

Obama has come under criticism for his handling of recent upheaval in the Middle East and for not closing a controversial military jail at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a campaign promise he has not kept.

McCain, a former pilot and war prisoner, fared better than Obama in winning the veterans’ vote in the 2008 election, but Obama was backed by a majority of veterans younger than age 60.

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