Romney campaign uses Obama's line against him in attack ad
June 14th, 2012
07:28 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney campaign uses Obama's line against him in attack ad

Washington (CNN) – Those fives words won’t seem to go away.

Hoping to continue capitalizing politically on what many consider a gaffe by President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign Thursday released a new television ad hitting the president on his comment, made last Friday, that "the private sector’s doing fine."

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The spot is the first negative campaign ad against Obama from Romney’s campaign in the general election campaign.

In the new 30 second spot, Mitt Romney's team replays the president uttering the phrase several times while highlighting the nation's economic woes by flashing on-screen text: “23.2 million Americans are unemployed,” “40 straight months over 8% unemployment” and “middle-class struggles deepen under Obama.”

The only voice heard in the spot is the president's.

In full context, Obama said during his Friday press conference that 4.3 million jobs had been added in the private sector in the last 27 months.

"The private sector's doing fine," Obama said. "Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in."

Responding to the latest Romney ad, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith took aim at the Republican candidate's jobs plan.

"Mitt Romney's newest ad is a stark reminder that he doesn't have any new ideas to grow the economy or strengthen the middle class," Smith wrote in a statement. "In fact, his 59-point economic plan wouldn't create a single job now – instead he's proposed cutting jobs for teachers, firefighters, and police. While the President has put a plan on the table to build on 27 consecutive months of private sector job growth and spur additional hiring by keeping cops on the street and teachers in the classroom, cutting taxes for small businesses, and helping families refinance their mortgages."

Republicans pounced almost immediately on Obama’s remarks, which were made last week during a news conference called to discuss the economy and some of its problems.

Obama was trying to draw a distinction between the private sector’s continued growth job-wise and the public sector’s troubles. The president later Friday had to backtrack. telling reporters "It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That's the reason I had the press conference."

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.

On the private sector vs. public sector debate, the Obama campaign has been attacking Mitt Romney for comments he made last week in reaction to the president.

"He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Iowa.

Obama’s campaign has used Romney’s words to try and assert the Republican candidate would cut the ranks of public employees if he became president. In an interview on Fox News Tuesday Romney called the charge "a very strange accusation."

"Of course teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states,” Romney said, adding: "The federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that's completely absurd."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Mitt is myth, nonsense...

    June 14, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    I heard this ad OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again – brought to you by CNN and other media. The NEWS MEDIA advertise more for the candidates then what their money is buying – it gets sickening!!

    On another note, R-Money is very ARROGANT and OUT OF TOUCH when he says,
    "It's time for us to cut back on government...."
    By that he means, get rid of teachers, fire fighters and public workers!!
    Then he says right after the above quote,
    "...and help the American people”

    Okay, who are the American people??????" Are they NOT teachers, fire fighters and public workers???
    In reality, R-Money wants to put middle-class Americans "out of work"
    In order to help the "American People" he knows – the 1 percent!
    FORGET about the Middle Class and start WARS that don’t make sense…
    With Iran, Russia, and Syria – this will lead to China, North Korea and many more
    Electing R-Money will do NOTHING for the economy but would definitely start a WORLD WAR!!!

    R-Money speaks with Forked Tongue!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    June 14, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  3. DJ

    Just as the Obama's team has pounced on Romney words, it is only right that the public is made aware of what our President says that may affect us. The words he has said will not go away because they have hurt the public. Reminding us that nothing has really changed as was promised.

    June 14, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Romney is like a little annoying Chihuahua that just keeps yapping and yapping over the slightest little sound outside the front door. Ignore him.
    What should NOT be ignored, however, is that Romney's exquisite and over-the-top shortcomings vis-a-vis interacting with the electorate, remembering what he's said,inability to formulate viable plans on the economy and foreign policy, and more importatnly his penchant for lying and flip-flopping on ALL issues can only serve to lull pro-Obama/pro-country voters into a false sense of complacency come November. This MUST be the true Romney strategy, one would think: to keep voters at home or off the rolls of registered voters. The more Romney speaks, after all, the more we can discern exactly why his own Party shunned him for so many years in his attempts to gain/buy/usurp the White House. DO NOT BE LULLED OR CONNED into thinking that no one in their right mind would vote against their interests by casting a vote for Romney. DO NOT BE FOOLED by his obvious apathy for anything to do with improvign our coutnry's lot. And more importantly don't be an arrogant American in thinking that we're smarter than voting this idiot into office, after all we elected Bush TWICE, we're beating up on President Obama,the ONLY person who worked hard to keep us from going into economic Depression mode, and there were enough idiots out there to "vote" Romney into being their GOPeeing nominee.
    American stupidity knows no bound,stay vigilant.
    Obama 2012. Because even "AMERCIA" deserves better than a Romney.

    June 14, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. nilla

    Hey, the commercial conveniently leaves out the fact that the unemployment numbers include public sector employees whose jobs were lost at the demands of conservatives. You know, the ones that Speaker Beohner said, "so be it – we're broke", when asked about those people losing their jobs. Not surprising, since that was a big part of the actual context of Obama's statement.

    So much for either candidate running a clean campaign. *sigh*

    June 14, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  6. The GOP should pack up and leave

    And McCain said "the fundamentals of our economy are sound" when we were spiraling toward a Great Depression.

    Here's the difference - that statement proved that McCain was utterly clueless and that he was lying through his teeth. Obama's statement is the truth because the private sector is doing better. Jobs are slowly coming back. Is the economy 100% yet? Of course not. How could it be given what Bush did to it? It'll take at least another 8 years of good democratic rule like we've had for the last 4 years to even put a dent in the Bush damage.

    June 14, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. SafeJourney

    Well then, Lets just use the Romneys favorite line " I like to fire people" Romney is just like Trump . Just think how many American would LOSE their jobs if Romney was elected. (God forbid)

    June 14, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. Yonni

    The dishonest bishop continued assaulting the truth

    June 14, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |

    -"I like being able to fire people"

    June 14, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |

    I can't wait for the Obama campaign to use the cafe owner from Iowa's comments in an ad.

    June 14, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  11. Norma Vessels

    Mr. Romney is beginning to make me very, very tired. He twists and contorts and mix matches what the President says to build up his own image to the people. Guess I missed all those missiles he's been shooting out of his mouth .. for I find him getting less likeable, less honest, less appealing, every time he opens his mouth. Think I'll go find somebody who's more in the light. I don't like the darkness.

    June 14, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  12. FedUp

    The only private sector that is doing fine, is his little Hollywood friends that are donating all their money to him. That' private sector is doing fine. The rest of us? Well, the American family lost 40% of their wealth. Guess that's ok for Mr. Obama.

    June 14, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Relatively speaking, the private sector is doing fine. It is doing well enough that we can triage other parts of the economy, which are not doing well at all.

    June 14, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |