Republican Mitt Romney responded Thursday with a new television ad that brands President Obama a liar for ads that charge the Republican outsourced American jobs during his time with the private-equity firm Bain Capital.
“When a president doesn’t tell the truth, how can we trust him to lead?” the narrator asks in the 30-second spot. “The Obama outsourcing attacks: ‘misleading, unfair and untrue,’” the narrator continues, citing a June 21 report by the Washington Post’s fact-checking columnist.
It was interesting that the ad (below) also features a cameo by Hillary Clinton from the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, in which she says, “Shame on you, Sen. Obama” for distorting her record. (There are a lot of disaffected Hillary Democrats out there.)
The response ad comes a little over a week after the Obama camp went up with its ad tying Bain to outsourcing, and as many conservatives fret that Romney has not countered persistent efforts to muddy up his business record and former overseas personal bank accounts, per the New York Times.
One of Romney’s key defenses to outsourcing charges in the past has been that he left day-to-day control of Bain Capital in 1999 to work on the Salt Lake City Olympics, before some of the deals in question — but The Boston Globe reported Thursday that Romney stayed active three years beyond that, citing government documents.
FactCheck.org determined that the Obama campaign had not proved its assertions that Romney was running the company after 1999, and the nonpartisan watchdog group reaffirmed that opinion Thursday in a Politico interview.
“The article is not accurate,” said Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign. “As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point.”
NBC News, meanwhile, has identified 24 battleground-state television markets in which the Obama campaign is airing ads uncontested by Romney forces. Five of them are in Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh (which also catches eastern Ohio voters); Wilkes-Barre Scranton; Erie; Johnstown-Altoona; and Harrisburg.
According to the network’s political team, the others are Charlottesville, VA; Burlington, VT (for the NH market); Portland, ME (NH); Gainesville, FL; Mason City, IA; Greenville-Spartanburg (for NC); Harrisonburg, VA; Wilmington, NC; Miami, FL; Zanesville, OH; Lima, OH; Tri-Cities (VA); Quincy-Hannibal, MO (for IA); Parkersburg, WV (for OH); Tallahassee, FL; Panama City, FL; Wheeling, WV (for OH); Ottumwa, IA; and Charleston, WV (for OH).