Campaigns turn to economy ahead of jobs numbers
August 2nd, 2012
08:22 AM ET
8 years ago

Campaigns turn to economy ahead of jobs numbers

(CNN) – A day before the Labor Department releases jobs figures for July, the dueling presidential campaigns turned their attention back to the nation's fragile economy, each blasting the other as bad for middle class Americans.

President Barack Obama's campaign used a 30-second television ad to hit Mitt Romney for his tax plan, saying in the spot that his Republican challenger's proposals would increase taxes on middle class Americans while lowering tax rates for the wealthy. The campaign said the ad would run in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada – all battlegrounds in November's election.

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"You work hard, stretch every penny," the narrator in the spot says. "But chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him. Mitt Romney made $20 million in 2010 but paid only 14% in taxes. Probably less than you. Now he has a plan that would give millionaires another tax break, and raises taxes on middle class families on up to $2,000 a year. Mitt Romney's middle class tax increase. He pays less, you pay more."

In one part of the ad, a picture of Romney in front of Donald Trump's airplane is shown. The shot was taken in May, when Trump headlined a fund-raiser for Romney in Las Vegas.

The ad utilizes the same message Obama used on Wednesday, when he told crowds at campaign rallies in Ohio that Romney's tax plan would only benefit millionaires.

"Here's the thing, he's not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids' education. He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut," Obama said at a campaign event in Mansfield.

Obama used his speeches to highlight a new study by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center that concluded Mitt Romney's tax proposals would provide large tax cuts to the very wealthy while increasing the tax burden on the lower and middle classes.

The Romney campaign quickly pushed back, pointing out that one of the study's three authors used to work for the Obama White House. Adam Looney, now a senior fellow of The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, served as senior economist for public finance and tax policy with the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2010.

Romney's campaign also argued that the analysis was flawed because it did not account for additional revenue that would result from a reduction in the corporate tax rate - another part of the candidate's plan.

Romney's campaign was also pushing their candidate's economic message Thursday as the candidate returned to the campaign trail after a week-long foreign swing. Romney's team said they would hold 24 "Strengthening the Middle Class" events over the next two days in battleground states meant to educate voters about the presumptive GOP nominee's economic plan.

Romney's team also pushed out a web video in their "These Hands" series, highlighting small business owners pushing back on Obama's remark in early July that successful businesses didn't get that way without governmental support.

The latest video – "These Hands: Virginia" – features the owner of an office supply company saying she was "insulted" by Obama's remarks, which came at a campaign rally in Roanoke on July 13.

Obama said: "If you are successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

In the Romney campaign video, the business owner Melissa Ball says Obama's comments, along with his policies, reflect a misunderstanding of small business.

"The comments that the president's plan has worked, I haven't seen it work," Ball says. "I've seen customers and companies go out of business. I've seen friends lose jobs. It certainly doesn't feel like it's working. We need a president who understands business."

Romney's team has made similar videos using small business owners in Nevada and Ohio. Obama's team has pushed back on Republican attacks using the clip from Roanoke, saying the president is being taken out of context.

Obama returns to Virginia Thursday for a campaign rally in Leesburg, an outer suburb of Washington, D.C. He won Loudon County, which includes Leesburg, by 8 points in 2008.

CNNMoney's Charles Riley and CNN's Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Economy • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. WiredweirdinSF

    The more we talk about the economy, the worse Obama looks. He has given trillions of our tax money to the dope addicts, welfare frauds and corrupt unon bosses, while demonizing and degrading people who actually work, pay taxes and take personal responsibility for their lives. He has stolen a lot of money out of my 401k and now want to tax it at a higher rate, so the dopers and welfare frauds can continue to enjoy their lives, while I have to get up early every day and go to work. He is worried about what Mitt Romney did with his money, I am worried about what he is doing with mine. He is corrupt, incompetetn and inept.

    August 2, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. Stuffit

    I see the jobless claim numbers rose again this week. More testimony about the failure of the Obama administration and still, CNN Political Tickers big headline is Palin. Way to distract from the issues.

    August 2, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. Michael

    Repuglicans trying to get ahead of the job report! Well, in true reality repuglicans on congressional hill have not got ahead of nothing! Unless, you count trying to kill healthcare (33) times, abortion (14) times, pass regulation killing bills, t ax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for Exxon and other corporations, and many other bills that will not create one job! They have tried to hoodwink America along with the media's help to believe their about "jobs" "jobs" "jobs." But in reality, the only priority repuglicans have is making President Obama a one term President!

    August 2, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    "Mitt Romney's middle class tax increase. He pays less, you pay more."
    Mitt Romney paid $3.1 million in taxes. If you paid more than him, you might have a beef. Otherwise, I don't think so.

    August 2, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. quinLee

    Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
    Question: Does “You didn’t build that” in Obama’s complete statement refer to:
    A. Roads, bridges, Internet, etc.-Try running a business without these.
    B. Your business
    C. None of the above—Facts don’t concern me.
    Hint: “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”
    Another Hint: The business owners in these lie ads received Gov't assistance for their businesses–How's that for hypocrisy.

    August 2, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. A Kickin` Donkey

    Whatever skills Mitt Romney purports to have gained in is "25 years in the private sector" [i.e. a corporate raider & pension fund looter at Bain] are of no use as the head of a governmental leadership role.

    How do you know I`m telling the truth? Mitt Romney was 3rd FROM THE BOTTOM in job creation in his other governmental leadership tole, as Govenor of Massachusetts.

    He`s already shown what he can and CAN NOT do. Why would American voters give him another chance? On what merits . . . because he LOOKS like a stereotypical President from central casting?

    Sorry, I`m going with the guy that gor bin Laden AND had presided over 28 straught months of private sector job growth.

    August 2, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. allison

    Additional revenue from a corporate tax rate reduction. ?

    August 2, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. anagram_kid

    For anyone out there that still wants to distort what the president said, allow me to educate you. When a person gives a speech and says ‘Te point is…’ the words that follow are the point. Here is what he said.
    “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
    Anyone who misrepresents what he said is either ignorant, lying or both.

    August 2, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  9. anagram_kid

    “We need a president who understands business."

    What we need is a population of employable people. This means people who are healthy and educated as well as being willing and able to continue learning. The issue is not lack of jobs, but lack of qualified candidates for industries that require more brains than brawn. If the US wants to compete with the work force coming up from China and India while continuing to be a nation of innovators, we best turn off the race cars and reality shows and start hitting the books.

    August 2, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Why does Obama say Romney only wants a Tax Cut so millionairs can make more? Anybody that believes that reallly doesn't have a clue of what is happening. Business has to make money to hire workers. If the government gets more workers get less. The question is, does Obama really believe this or is he selling us a Pig-in-a-Poke. He sure talka a good game. Too bad the unemployment isn't at 4.5 percent rather than 8.2 percent.

    August 2, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Funny, the Romney campaign was perfectly satisfied with the work done by Brookings last fall when they analyzed Rick Perry's tax plan and declared that it would increase the deficit.

    August 2, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. A P

    Any way Please American People want your( Mr Romeny) last 12 year taxreturn , Other wise donot ask vote, If some thing wrong IRS ask me last seven year tax return , Now PEOPLE want your (ROMNEY) tax return, Your foregin trip west the money, I know bain I have lot of question , Next Time THANKS AP

    August 2, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |