Three new television ads unveiled on Tuesday -- one from the Obama campaign, one from the Romney campaign, and one from a Republican-aligned superPAC -- underscore the divergent messages pushed by the two major parties during the closing weeks of the 2012 presidential campaign.
The new ad from the Obama campaign, "Earned," attempts to renew the focus on Mitt Romney's secretly-recorded comments describing 47 percent of Americans see themselves as "victims" who are "dependent" on government largesse.
The spot begins by reminding the viewer of Romney's ill-advised fundraiser remarks. A narrator then links Romney's comments to the GOP's proposed Medicare asking, "But what about his plan for you? Romney would replace guaranteed benefits with a voucher system. Seniors could pay $6,000 more a year, a plan AARP says would undermine Medicare."
The "$6,000" claim is based on a study from the Congressional Budget Office forecasting that the proposed vouchers would fail to keep pace with health care inflation, leaving seniors on the hook for an additional $6,400 in out-of-pocket expenses by 2022.
The spot closes with a warning: "You're no victim. You earned your benefits. Don't let Mitt Romney take them away."
The ads from the Romney campaign and an allied super PAC are designed to put the focus on the economy under the president. They slam Mr. Obama's record on job creation and promise disenchanted voters a better tomorrow under a Romney administration.
The ad from Karl Rove's 527 group American Crossroads, "Four More," tells voters that a second Obama term won't help the economic recovery and accuses the president of proposing "more of the same."
"He's demanding tax hikes - over two million small businesses will get higher taxes; 700,000 workers, a pink slip," says a narrator. "And he wants more spending, just like his failed stimulus."
The narrator continues: "After trillions in more debt, with nothing to show for it, we can't repeat those mistakes. Another four years focused on everything but jobs? No thanks."
The ad cites a study from Ernst and Young, commissioned by several pro-business advocacy groups, that concludes that the president's proposal to hike individual tax rates on incomes greater than $250,000 will impact 2.1 million "small businesses" that file taxes under the personal code. The authors warned that the move could eliminate as many as 710,000 jobs, but their definition of "small business".
The Romney campaign ad, "Putting Jobs First", picks up where Crossroads leaves off. it uses clips from Romney's debate performance to criticize Obama's economic agenda and highlights Romney's focus on job creation.
"Look at the evidence of the last four years - we've got 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work," the candidate says in the spot. "They're suffering in this country."
"The President would prefer raising taxes," Romney continues. "The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth. I'm not going to raise taxes on anyone. Because when the economy's growing slow like this, when we're in recession, you shouldn't raise taxes on anyone. My plan is to bring down rates to get more people working. My priority is putting people back to work in America."
The new ad is the first from the Romney campaign to utilize footage from Romney's lauded debate performance last Wednesday.
The Obama ad will air in Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. The Crossroads ad, backed by a sizable $7.4 million buy, will air in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado for one week. The Romney campaign did not specify the location or size of their ad buy.