The Romney campaign goes negative for the first time, as Jim Geraghty points out, in the general-election cycle — at least on television. Team Romney has been hitting Barack Obama for his remark that “the private sector is doing fine” almost from the moment he said it last week. Mitt Romney himself slammed Obama’s remarks at an appearance in swing-state Iowa, and the campaign has posted more than one web video featuring the remarks. Now they’re putting their money where Obama’s mouth is:
CNN reports that this will have $3.24 million behind it and will air in seven swing states:
Political analysts predicted – rightly – that Obama’s words would soon end up in a political advertisement. The Republican National Committee and later the Romney campaign both put out web videos highlighting the words.
As CNN reported Thursday, Team Romney has bought its largest ad buy of the general election media campaign and this ad will be the featured presentation. It has purchased $3.24 million in seven battleground states for time running through next Tuesday.
It’s a straightforward spot, with no embellishments other than data that comes straight from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and from media analysis of the economy. Here’s the script released from Team Romney, complete with links to the data:
VIDEO TEXT: “June 8, 2012”VIDEO TEXT: “23.2 Million Americans Are In Need Of Work”
· 23.2 Million Americans Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 6/4/12)VIDEO TEXT: “40 Straight Months Over 8% Unemployment”
· Under President Obama, Unemployment Has Remained Above 8% For 40 Straight Months. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 6/4/12)VIDEO TEXT: “Middle-Class Struggles Deepen Under Obama”
· Since President Obama Took Office, Median Household Income Has Declined By $4,300. “Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery, according to an analysis of census data by Sentier Research, an economic- consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland.” (Mike Dorning, “Obama Fails To Stem Middle-Class Slide He Blamed On Bush,” Bloomberg, 4/30/12)
· Median Family Net Worth Has Hit A Two-Decade Low. “The Great Recession shrank Americans’ wealth so much that in 2010 median family net worth was no more than it had been in 1992 after adjusting for inflation, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. Median net worth declined from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010, a Fed survey of family finances found. The median marks the point where half had more and half had less.” (Martin Crutsinger, “Fed Report: Middle Class Net Worth Tumbles,” The Associated Press, 6/12/12)VIDEO TEXT: “Millions Of Homeowners Underwater On Mortgages”
· Millions Of Homeowners Are Underwater On Their Mortgages. “Despite rising home prices, more than 30% of borrowers, or close to 16 million homeowners, were underwater on their mortgage during the first quarter, according to Zillow. The percentage of borrowers who owed more on their home than it was worth increased to 31.4% during the quarter, up slightly from 31.1% three months earlier, according to Zillow.” (Les Christie, “More Than 30% Of Mortgage Borrowers Still Underwater,” CNN Money, 5/24/12)VIDEO TEXT: “The President’s Response?”VIDEO TEXT: “June 8, 2012”VIDEO TEXT: “11:01 am”PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine.”
· PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine.” (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 6/8/12)VIDEO TEXT: “The Private Sector Is Doing Fine?”VIDEO TEXT: “June 8, 2012”VIDEO TEXT: “11:01 am”PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine.
· PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine.” (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 6/8/12)VIDEO TEXT: “How Can President Obama Fix Our Economy…”VIDEO TEXT: “If He Doesn’t Understand It’s Broken?”PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine.”
· PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine.” (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 6/8/12)
MITT ROMNEY: “I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.”
It’s an effective attack, and if more bad economic data comes out, Team Romney will undoubtedly refresh the ad to include it and re-release it as often as possible. They want to define Obama as clueless on how to restart job creation and the kind of growth that should have taken place over the last three years, and they’ll use every syllable of help Obama presents to them as a gift.
Update: Just to clarify a point for commenters objecting to the “negative” appellation, that’s the term used for any ad which focuses on the record of an opponent rather than solely on the candidate publishing the ad. That doesn’t make negative ads any less legitimate (a point I’ve made a number of times before), as long as they’re presented fairly.