President Barack Obama’s campaign on Thursday released a new television advertisement hitting Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for paying what it considers to be a low tax rate in 2010 and for pushing a tax plan that could most benefit Americans earning more than $1 million per year.
The 30-second spot features a montage of ostensibly “average” Americans — one comparing prices at the grocery store, another scrutinizing a work report, another sifting through bills at the kitchen table — and then flashes to a grinning Romney.
“You work hard, stretch every penny, but chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him,” the narrator says, referring to Romney’s 2010 tax rate of 13.9 percent and 2011 estimated tax rate of 15.4 percent.
Romney, who made his fortune founding and growing Bain Capital, released tax information from 2010 and a draft of his 2011 returns after being chided by Republican rivals during the contentious Republican primary. The Obama campaign has since taken up the issue in television ads and messaging.
In response, Romney has said that Obama demonizes capitalist success and wants to divert attention away from the sluggish American economy and roughly 8 percent unemployment — seen as the Democrat’s chief weaknesses as he runs for re-election in November. Releasing more returns would just provide more fodder for distorted attacks, Romney has said.