Tales from the Trail

If middle class prospers, we all prosper: Obama in Olympics ad

A new national television advertisement released by President Obama’s campaign and slated to air during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games features the Democratic incumbent delivering an impassioned stump speech in which he ties national prosperity to the success of the middle class.

“I believe in fighting for the middle class because if they’re prospering, all of us will prosper,” Obama says in the 30-second advertisement, part of a $6 million Olympics ad buy, NBC confirmed. “That’s the idea of America and that’s why America is the greatest nation on earth.”

As Obama speaks, a montage shows “workers and doers and dreamers,” including a farmer loading hay into a pick-up truck, a woman punching in for her shift, and a suit-wearing father coming home to his family. The advertisement, which does not mention Mitt Romney, is a departure from a series of negative ads that criticized the former private equity executive’s business record and resistance to opening up his personal finances to increased scrutiny.

“Obama’s statement is a broad generalization. Real prosperity depends on all economic classes moving upward,” said Robert Kallan, a visiting economics professor at DePaul University, adding that the ad plays to undecided voters, the majority of whom are in the middle class.

The Romney campaign, which has not made an ad buy during the Olympics, NBC confirmed, released a statement on Friday highlighting poor economic numbers, seen as the biggest drag on Obama’s candidacy.

Romney says he’s “not concerned about the very poor”

You have to wonder just what Mitt Romney was thinking this morning when he told CNN host Soledad O’Brien that he’s “not concerned about the very poor” because, he said, they’re protected by “a safety net.”

Romney was, by all appearances, trying to portray himself as a champion of the middle class — “the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling,” as he put it. And, to be fair, he also said he’s “not concerned about the very rich.” But the statement still, O’Brien pointed out, might sound “odd” to poor Americans who are also struggling.

“Finish the sentence, Soledad,” Romney responded. “I said I’m not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net. But if it has holes in it, I will repair them.”

Obama to middle class: Who loves you?

The middle class is back.

Amid the din of Republican cries of class warfare, the Occupy Wall Street movement and a fresh economic report that America’s rich are getting much, much richer, one phrase punctuated weekend remarks from President Barack Obama and his campaign strategists: the middle class.

As the Democratic president struggles to reconnect with his base — liberals, black Americans and younger voters — he is taking up the middle class mantra to target the crucial voting bloc.

This weekend there was no escaping who the Obama team’s message was aimed at.

Nothing lost in translation on Biden dig

WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden promised a “fully transparent” task force to help the middle class. So why is the audience laughing?

Biden is leading a task force to look at how to improve economic realities for working families. And it will have its own Web site astrongmiddleclass.gov as the Obama administration presses on with its goal to use the Internet to communicate with the public.

“This task force, I might add — which, coming out of the vice president’s office, will be a bit unique — will be fully transparent, totally transparent,” Biden said.