New Romney ad asks ‘what happened’ to Obama
July 13th, 2012
07:59 AM ET
2 years ago

New Romney ad asks ‘what happened’ to Obama

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's campaign released a new television ad Friday, using footage of President Barack Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech to frame the president as hypocritical in his campaign tactics.

The intended point of the 30-second spot, titled "What happened?", is to fault Obama for making "dishonest" attacks in the 2012 presidential race, despite condemning such a strategy in his speech four years ago.

"Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters," Obama said in his 2008 remarks, referring to Republican campaign tactics.

However, the ad is presented in a way that makes it look like Obama is talking about his own viewpoints, rather than those of other people.

He continues: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

The then-senator and Democratic presidential nominee was lamenting partisan gridlock and the divisive climate of American politics in his 2008 speech. He emphasized the need for Democrats and Republicans to work together, but said "I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk."

He argued such critics, namely Republicans, are the ones who believe "you make a big election about small things" and "paint your opponent as someone people should run from."

While the ad attempts to compare Obama's former post-partisan rhetoric to his campaign's current tactics, the spot is edited in a way that leaves the impression Obama is espousing negative strategy, rather than projecting the views of his opponents.

The Romney ad also highlights a 2011 Politico story in which an unnamed Democratic strategist aligned with the White House is quoted as saying, "Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney."

And the spot points to recent Obama attacks on Romney's history at Bain Capital, his former private equity firm, hitting him as an advocate for outsourcing. Many of those claims have been debunked by a non-partisan fact-checking group and strongly contested by Romney's team.

The commercial later concludes with text on the screen: "We expect more from a president."

The new commercial comes one day after the Romney campaign released another ad accusing Obama of launching "dishonest attacks" on Romney's corporate background.

Obama's campaign maintains that Romney has been misleading about this record at Bain, including the timing of when he left the private equity firm.

"If that's the case, if he was lying to the American people, then that's a real character and trust issue that the American people need to take very seriously," deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on a conference call with reporters Thursday.

While Romney's campaign does not disclose ad buy locations and amounts, his team purchased almost $5 million in air time beginning Wednesday in eight battleground states, according to a GOP source. The ad buy marked the second week in a row the campaign has made a purchase of almost $5 million.


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Bain Capital • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Anon

    Poor, weak Romney. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    July 13, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. King

    I wonder how much money mitten getting from china, for him not to tax big business, so they can still outsourcing American jobs to their country. afterall big business don't have to pay middle class to the Chinese slave workers, this will save big businesses triple than if they stay in america, the problem is they advance China and their near 3 billion people past america as the lone super power, and take our jobs to their shores.

    July 13, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. TAK

    What happened to Obama? He made the mistake of trying to cooperate with Tea Party conservatives. For some strange reason, he beleived that they would place country before party and work with Republicans and Democrats. He was stupid to believe this and Romney will be just as stupid if he believes that they will act any different towards him, should he be elected president.

    July 13, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  4. AF

    I would like to ask Willlard Mitt Romney in how many countries that he has Bank Account? Please don't be hypocrite to the American people.

    July 13, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  5. Thomas

    "I agree with... Osama bin Laden"
    – Mitt Romney 2010

    July 13, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  6. Dave

    This is always my favorite line from Repubilcans. They run filthy campaigns and then they react with righteous indignation when a Democrat gets nasty with them. Serial hypocrites...

    July 13, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  7. GROVER NORQUIST IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE

    You want to know what happened Willard? The President realized that you have to fight fire with fire when you have a bunch of outside special interest distorting facts in negative ads. All I know is that Willard better trad lightly. Legally and technically he was still CEO of Bain up until 2001. He was still collecting salary from Bain after 1999. I think he's the one with the trust problem.

    July 13, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. drexyl

    awesome link to the video.

    July 13, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  9. T'sah From Virginia

    ►New Romney ad asks ‘what happened’ to Obama◄
    OMG here we come with some more RIGHT drama
    What happened to R-Money? – His Etch-A-Sketch is not working causing him to fail miserably??
    He's the one that "...was lying to the American people..., and the American people "should" take that seriously

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 13, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  10. Core republican Values

    Mittens calling someone else hypocritical?

    July 13, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  11. Mark

    This comment is not the truth of what she said and you show your true agenda when you only print this:
    "If that's the case, if he was lying to the American people, then that's a real character and trust issue that the American people need to take very seriously,"

    What about the part where she basically calls him a criminal? You know it is not true so to protect the president and the liberal agenda you lie! Shame on you and I voted for Obama and even I can see he is not doing the right thing here! Last time I watch you network or come to this site. I can not handle the bias you all have!

    July 13, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  12. MaryM

    Romney better ask what is happening to Romney and where are your tax returns. You will NOT be President of the U.S

    July 13, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. Ancient Texan

    Obama is desperate and is throwing every derogatory trumped up charge he can think of at the wall in the hope that something will stick and slow down the Romney campaign.

    July 13, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Let's use the Rovian strategy right back at Willard.
    What happened with Willard during the time period of 1999-2002? How can he be CEO but not be in charge? Sounds like a dereliction of duties to all of us...unless he's lying of course and never stopped inflicting the Bain pain on those raided companies. Which is it Willard?

    July 13, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. beevee

    The ad should be asking instead what happened to the GOP we have this flip-flopper, filthy rich guy Romney representing us. He will never help the middle class and the poor.

    July 13, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  16. Larry

    Buying ad time is good for the economy in those states and who is really influenced by the ads anyway. I decided to vote for Obama a long time ago – when the tea party took over the house.

    July 13, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  17. scoto

    Romney – Another Rick Perry with more money

    July 13, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  18. curious

    This guy can dish it out, but he sure seems thin skined when the attack is returned. Putin, and America's enemies are hoping for a Romney presidency. This guy is weak.

    July 13, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. Mark L.

    I am SO SICK and TIRED of Romney bashing President Obama !!!! Instead of talking about what he could potentially offer to better this nation's economy, he continues bashing, bashing and MORE BASHING !!!! I am CONVINCED NOW – A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for either Great Recession, Part 2, or Great DEPRESSION, Part 2 !!!! And if you think unemployment is high now, just vote the Re"Blood"licans into office and watch all our nation's jobs being outsourced to India, China, Vietnam, etc. Unemployment today is at 8.2%, is it?? Under a Romney administration, after his first term in office, the unemployment rate should balloon too 15.8%

    July 13, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. SafeJourney

    Romney and Mr Darth Cheney fund raising. Romney has hired bush advisors. Americans do not want another Bush in the White House

    July 13, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    Just these bashings will never work in an electronic era–what is Your dealing to economy, how you solve the economic mess created by GOP, why you stashed money in Cayman island? Why massachusetts was 47/50 in Job Creation? Answer to these. Lay man now thinks you are big BS. Yes, OBAMA2012. Period.

    July 13, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. Laverne

    Oh well, you should be ready for prime-time since you are running for POTUS! What do you think Obama should do, sit back and allow you and your posse to destroy him like you did Newt and Santorum, but must be crazy! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and President Obama is going to do just that!

    July 13, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. enuff

    Once again, taking quotes and trying to spin them into a different message. WHAT ARE ROMNEY'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS? WHAT DOES HE STAND FOR? WHY WON'T HE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS? This is the most do-nothing election I have ever seen. Does he not realize that he is on the edge of imploding and he hasn't even been nominated yet?

    July 13, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. ok

    Ok, so are the republicans and Romney are trying to Destroy Obama as well? So what. This is stupid...

    July 13, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  25. Charlotte

    Boy, the Mittheads just HATE it when their opponent doesn't just lie down and take all the attacks without coming back with some legitimate criticisms and questonis!!! But the rightwing have always been that way, they're like two-year-olds. They can slap and hit and kick and call names but when their victim turns around and either hits back or actually calls them on it, then suddenly it's NO FAIR NO FAIR NO FAIR!!!!! Pathetic, self-centered, childish and so VERY typical of the GOP and their minions these days.

    July 13, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
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