The president's reelection effort launched a dramatic new television advertisement Saturday that sets Romney's halting rendition of "America the Beautiful" from a January campaign stop in Florida against visual charges about his personal wealth and alleged outsourcing by the investment firm he led, Bain Capital, with the sharp conclusion that Romney is "not the solution, he's the problem."
The Obama ads cite news accounts in claiming that Romney's firms "shipped jobs to Mexico and China"; and that as governor he outsourced state jobs to India, had millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account and had tax shelters in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
The implied argument: his singing America's praises was off-key in more ways than one.
It was the exact line of attack that Romney blasted in television interviews Friday afternoon.
"Is this the level that the Obama campaign is willing to stoop to?” Romney said on CNN. "Is this up to the standards expected of the presidency of the United States? I don't think the American people think so. I certainly don't think so."
His campaign has argued the Obama attacks are based on debunked reports, citing independent fact-checkers. Romney also equated raising his personal wealth with making a "personal attack," even as he's declined to offer the kind of disclosure of his full financial portfolio Democrats had demanded and even some Republicans suggested Romney would be well-served to offer.
Romney has released a full tax return for 2010 and an estimate of his filing for 2011. He said the full 2011 filing would come before election day.
The new 30-second Obama spot will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to the campaign. The states are the 2012 battlegrounds coveted by both campaigns.