(CBS News) In his first direct-to-camera ad of the campaign season, Mitt Romney appeals directly to jobless voters, suggesting that he, not President Obama, will deliver new jobs to struggling Americans.
"Too many Americans are struggling to find work in today's economy. Too many of those who are working are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to make falling incomes meet rising prices for food and gas," Romney says in the spot, released Wednesday. "More Americans are living in poverty than when President Obama took office and 15 million more are on food stamps."
The ad, in which Romney addresses the camera head-on for a full 60 seconds, casts Mr. Obama as a decent man but a failed leader.
"President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The difference is my policies will make things better for them," Romney says. "We shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. We should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good paying job. My plan will create 12 million new jobs over the next four years-helping lift families out of poverty and strengthening the middle class."
"I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message because we can't afford another four years like the last four years," he finishes.
On the heels of a series of campaign struggles, Romney has seen dips in his poll numbers - including in a new set of Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times battleground polls released this morning, which show Mr. Obama opening up significant leads in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Last week, the candidate fielded particular criticism when a secretly-taped video was released featuring Romney referring to 47 percent of Americans as dependent on government and who view themselves as victims.
The pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future is out with an ad today that also appeals to voters' personal sensibilities: The ad, entitled "Kindergarten," asks Americans to consider if their young children's futures have improved since Mr. Obama took office.
"If your daughter was one-year old when President Obama was inaugurated, she just started kindergarten. Is her future getting better?" a narrator in the ad asks. "Under Obama, America is experiencing the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Counting people who have dropped out or stopped looking for work, the real unemployment rate is 19 percent. Obama has added more debt than the first 41 presidents - combined. Is America going forward? Or backward?"