(CNN) – On July 18, a dancing horse officially became a part of the 2012 presidential campaign.
A web video from national Democrats uses an equine performer to suggest GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is "dancing around the issues," namely the issue of releasing more of his personal income tax returns.
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Republicans, not to be left out of the negative web video game, also released a spot hitting President Barack Obama for funneling federal funds to companies whose owners had contributed to his campaign coffers.
Web videos gain buzz (and often on-line clicks) without the campaigns or committees having to put significant financial resources behind them with a purchase of paid advertising, which would then ensure they are seen by large television audiences.
The two spots are the latest round in an ongoing fight between the two parties, which have been engaged in a bitter back-and-forth over which candidate is better poised to improve America's ailing economy.
In the web ad from the Democratic National Committee, jaunty dance music is laid underneath clips of Romney explaining his reasoning on not releasing more of his tax information. Romney has released his tax return from 2010, and an estimate for his 2011 information. He filed for an extension on submitting his taxes in April, and has vowed to release the full return when his accountant finalized the documents.
In between the Romney clips, the DNC uses clips of dressage, an equestrian event where the horse appears to be dancing through the ring. Romney's wife Ann participates in dressage events, and has said the sport has helped lessen the symptoms of her multiple sclerosis.
The Romney's even own a dressage horse, Rafalca, who will compete in the 2012 London Olympics.
The Republicans' web video, while not featuring any dancing animals, hits Obama for dirty politics by offering government subsidies to companies owned by campaign supporters.
The spot hones in on Steve Westly, a venture capitalist that helped Obama raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2008 presidential bid. Since then, companies he's involved with have received millions in government contracts.
"It is time for the 'most transparent administration ever' to come clean on their political payoffs to Obama campaign bundler Steve Westly," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Wednesday.
Priebus said Westly's contracts "reek of crony capitalism, and the American taxpayers deserve answers."
The cronyism line of attack was first launched by Romney's campaign over the weekend, and Romney's campaign released an ad Wednesday underscoring the hits.
Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki responded to the "crony" charges on Air Force One Monday as Obama flew to an event in Ohio.
"President Obama has set a bar of transparency that Mitt Romney has not met, cannot possibly meet, even on his tippy-toes," Psaki said. "We have released bundlers, we release people regularly who visit the White House. We release far more than Mitt Romney has come close to."
"These are old, tired, haggard attacks," Psaki continued, adding that Romney's campaign is attempting to "change the conversation because he doesn't want to answer questions about his time at Bain Capital."
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