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DNC Ad Hits Romney Over Flip-Flops

DNC Ad Hits Romney Over Flip-Flops

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - November 28, 2011


Democrats are hitting the airwaves in a handful of key battleground states with an ad attacking Mitt Romney for his shifts on various issues, accusing him of being "two men trapped in one body."

The Democratic National Committee is putting up the 30-second spot on both broadcast and cable outlets in six media markets: Albuquerque, N.M.; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Washington, D.C.

"From the creator of 'I'm running for office, for Pete's sake' comes the story of two men trapped in one body: Mitt versus Mitt," says the narrator at the start of the ad, which mimics a Hollywood movie trailer. The opening line refers to Romney's comments during a GOP presidential debate this fall in which he said he fired the lawn company he had hired after he learned it was employing illegal immigrants. The spot then pits video of Romney voicing support for a woman's right to choose an abortion against a clip of him saying the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling should be overturned. "Two Mitts willing to say anything," the narrator says. The ad also features video of Romney connecting the health care plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts to President Obama's reforms, saying, "We put together an exchange, and the president’s copying that idea. I'm glad to hear that." It then pivots to a clip of Romney calling the president's health care law "bad news."

"When he ran for president last time, Mitt Romney admitted he'd changed his position on a lot of issues. This time, he claims he's Mr. Consistency," said DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell in a statement released with the ad Monday. "Mitt Romney can't even take a position on taking a position. Republicans' favorite straw man is to talk about 'uncertainty' as a threat to growth. If people are scared of uncertainty, they should be terrified of Mitt Romney." The DNC did not disclose how much money it is putting behind the spot, so it's difficult to tell how big the buy is.

The ad is accompanied by a new website -- MittvMitt.com -- that features an extended four-minute-long video pitting contradictory clips from the Republican candidate on immigration, workers rights and the economy. The DNC is teaming up with state Democratic parties in the six battlegrounds where the spot is running, as well as those in several additional states (Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida, Iowa and Massachusetts) to promote the ad and new website.

The DNC has been aggressively targeting Romney in this fashion, and the latest onslaught is another signal that it views the former Massachusetts governor as the likely GOP nominee. The Romney camp has focused its attacks on Obama, painting the election as a referendum on the president's policies and branding Romney as the best candidate to beat him. Last week, Romney released his first on-air ad hitting Obama on the economy. The ad generated some controversy for including 2008 video of then-Sen. Obama saying, "If we keep talking about the economy, we are going to lose." The ad neglects to mention that Obama was actually quoting a John McCain aide. However, the Romney campaign included the context for the quote in an accompanying press release.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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