New Romney ad asks ‘what happened’ to Obama
July 13th, 2012
07:59 AM ET
11 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. WatchDawg

    Romney and the TGOP'rs are pitiful...HOW dare anyone talk a page out of OUR playbook and usee it against us!!

    It's our (TGOP) responsibility to fill your heads with empty rhetoric, lies and confusion...


    July 13, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. edpeters101

    The biggest part of the GOP plan! Choose one of your weakest points, and say that is what the DEMs are! Totally dishonest, but like negative adds "It Works".. Next we will be hearing how Obama has not released all of his tax returns and all of his birth certificates..

    July 13, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. American

    What is Ronney's plan? No specifics other than constant lies, flip-flopping & cover-ups.

    Where are the tax returns?

    July 13, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the political campaigns were either completely honest and complete in all needed, then there would be a whole lot more than 30 seconds. We need more candidates being more positive.

    July 13, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Rosslaw

    Poor baby. Mittens should get Santorum and the Gingrich to explain how nice Mittens' adds were when they were running in the primaries.

    July 13, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. s

    Gee Mittens why don't you talk to that old troll McConnell on his statement, same thing, cry me a river

    July 13, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Common Cents

    Romney reminds me of that annoying kid in school that would talk smack, egg you on, then cry to the teacher after you finally lose restraint and punch him in the nose. Is he really trying to play the victim here? After all of his negative ads and ruthless attacks on the other candidates in primary? Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

    July 13, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. RealityBites

    Historically, candidates with few accomplishments run divisive slash and burn campaigns. " The politics of personal destruction", as some journalists use to gleefully point out so readily.

    July 13, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Sydnium S. Washington

    Obama's making useless attack ads, that's what he has doing.

    July 13, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |

    Slim shady romney the clown is destroying himself and needs no help from president Obama ,good choice republican bafoon party !!!!!

    July 13, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. lolo

    They need to ask what happened to Mitt the religious mormon who lies through his teeth. Obama is fine, The President has had to deal with all of the BS from the GOP/TP'ers every since he was sworn in office and he took it like a man and kept pushing. Now they want us to vote for tinfoil Mittens. I think not. Mittens has been caught in so many lies it is not even funny anymore. All of the money the GOP is spending to repeal Healthcare and for Mittens to be president they should have been using it to save America. Stupid is what stupid does. Mittens is trying to move his assets to family members and the church now as we blog.

    July 13, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Joseph Smith

    My son Mitt taking quotes out of context? That's almost as hard to believe as the Book of Mormon...ok, not THAT hard. What a nut job.

    July 13, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Expat American

    The SS GOP spent 8 years trying to destroy Clinton – the result? President Clinton is revered as one of the greatest Presidents in our history. Present day, the SS GOPhave spent all of their efforts doing the exact same thing in their campaign of character assassination against President Obama for the past 3.50 years.

    Whenever the Republicans start crying about mistreatment, they sound like collaborators complaining about their haircuts.

    July 13, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Sniffit

    I know you are but what am I.......

    July 13, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. charles

    The most dishonest politicians that comes to mind in recent memories are Romney and karl Provide.Hypocrisy!! .Just some few month ago look at how he destroyed Newt, Perry, and the rest. Flip flop, hypocrate,lier can be attributed to Romney .

    July 13, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Romney Outsource King

    Romney stop crying like baby. I remember Romney attack Newt and Santorum, Perry in past election.. Romney this
    is fair fight. We dont need a weak president.

    July 13, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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