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New Romney ads: It's still the economy, stupid

September 07, 2012|By James Rainey

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With the Democratic National Convention concluded, Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney released a series of new television ads tailored to show that he would help the economy more than President Obama in eight hotly contested states.

Romney's camp has always felt it would win the November election if it could keep the debate focused sharply on the economy and job creation. But that lens has grown fuzzy as the Republican stumbled on a foreign trip and got sidetracked by other issues, such as a Missouri Senate candidate's ham-handed comments about "legitimate rape" and abortion.

The 30-second ads slated for Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia promise changes from Obama's policies and a specific number of jobs that therefore should be created in each state. They also show some of the states Republicans know they need to win to take the White House. (Other previously hot battlegrounds, such as Wisconsin, are not included in the new ad splurge.)

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The ads, titled "A Better Future," begin with video of Romney's Aug. 30 speech to the Republican National Convention. "This president can ask us to be patient," Romney says. "This president can tell us it was someone else's fault. But this president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office."

A narrator then lays out Obama's alleged failings and Romney's alternative offerings. Though many of themes overlap across state, there are specific messages for each.

One ad, for Colorado, promises a reversal of "Obama defense cuts" -- actually reductions that members of both parties in Congress agreed would be imposed if they could not come up with a compromise to balance the budget. The Colorado spot promises 200,000 new jobs.

A Florida spot targets the state's swooning housing market, promising "alternatives" to foreclosure and to "end the mortgage lending freeze." In 30 seconds, there are no details on how that would happen. The ad says Romney would create 700,000 new jobs for Florida.

In an Iowa spot, the narrator talks about a "prairie fire of debt that grows over $3 billion each day." It promises 130,000 new jobs for the state. A Nevada ad bemoans the highest unemployment rate in the nation and promises to reverse it. In North Carolina, where manufacturing jobs have disappeared, the promise is to "stand up to China" on trade. 

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