Romney, Obama Trade Barbs in Fresh Campaign Ads


Julian Moore
Staff Writer

Making good on his last campaign promise, Texas Congressman Ron Paul won 13 of Minnesota’s 14 delegates this past weekend by way of an unprecedented campaign tactic. Despite former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s cushy lead in primary wins, Paul insisted last week that his campaign would continue on a guerilla-style effort to elect Paul supporters as Republican delegates at this year’s Republican National Convention.

Paul will now have control over 32 of Minnesota’s 40 delegates at the convention in August, and has effectively won the state. In the non-binding primary voting, Rick Santorum carried the state while Paul finished a distant third.

Moving along as the presumptive Republican nominee, Romney released a new campaign video last week titled “Day One.” The video, released in English and Spanish, depicts factory workers opening warehouse doors, taking measurements and operating backhoes to the sound of trumpets and rattling drums.

The campaign-sponsored clip opens with a question asking, “What would a Mitt Romney presidency be like?” leading to a checklist of priorities that an envisioned President Romney would accomplish on his first day. First, Romney would approve the controversial Keystone Pipeline XL, creating thousands of jobs “that Obama blocked.” The plan references President Barack Obama’s decision in late 2011 to suspend construction of an oil pipeline that would connect tar sands in Canada to refineries in Nebraska, through to oil exporting infrastructures in southern states such as Louisiana and Alabama. On November 6, 2011, more than 10,000 protesters surrounded the White House to protest the pipeline’s construction over fears that it would put a number of environmental habitats in danger along the path of construction.

A gravelly-voiced narrator says that Romney would then introduce tax cuts and reforms to “reward job creators, not punish them,” echoing a familiar line in the campaign about the value of corporations in the economy. President Obama has focused a number of his stump speeches on wealth disparity, calling upon wealthier American citizens to pay more in taxes to heal the country’s economic woes. Romney however, has stated that the wealthiest Americans are “job creators” and that such tactics would limit the effectiveness of trickle-down economics. The video goes on to include “Obamacare” among the measures President Romney would repeal from the previous administration.

President Obama’s campaign released a scathing video this earlier month attacking Romney’s credentials at his former company, Bain Capital. The Obama video also features factory workers whose jobs as steel factory workers were terminated after Bain, then under Romney’s direction, terminated their contracts. The video claims that Romney then attempted to eliminate their health care and retirement benefits.

“We view Romney as a job destroyer,” one of the former steel workers says, with tears visibly welling in his eyes.

Fellow Democrat and mayor of Newark, New Jersey Cory Booker recently slammed the campaign advertisement, saying that both sides “need to stop it.”

During his 2008 election, Obama frequently called for an end to a tradition of negative ad campaigning. At a July 8, 2008 rally in North Carolina, Obama told a crowd of supporters, “this is a different campaign… we’re not going to go around doing negative ads.”