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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

New Romney Ad Attacks Obama As Crony Capitalist

photo of Alexandra  Jaffe
July 18, 2012




















Mitt Romney's campaign is out with a new ad attacking President Obama for what it characterized as "political payoffs" to donors, to the detriment of middle-class job creation.

"Where did all the Obama stimulus money go?” a voice asks ominously over video of burning money.

The ad suggests the money went to "friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups," and goes on to single out a few specific cases, including the controversial loan guarantee to now-bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, "windmills from China," and "electric cars from Finland."

It's not a new attack, as another ad from the Romney campaign, released on Monday, attempted to make the same connection between government funds and political favors, an effort to tar Obama with the label of "crony capitalist" in response to the Obama campaign's relentless attacks on Romney's record at Bain Capital. But a CNN analysis of that last ad found that at least one of the claims -- that Obama played favorites in awarding government loans to automaker Fisker, which then shipped jobs overseas (the "electric cars from Finland" referenced in Wednesday's ad) -- was patently false.

CNN reported that, in fact, Fisker's contract to build cars in Finland was finalized long before it received government funds, and that all of those funds went to a facility in California, which employs 500 workers.

But the other two claims may hold water, particularly Solyndra, which remains a hot-button issue with Republicans looking to highlight government waste and inefficiency.

The RNC took a gentler tack with a television ad that launched on Saturday reassuring voters that "it's okay to make a change."

"You tried. He tried," says a voice over a photo of Obama, at the end of a laundry list of failed promises Obama made during his 2008 run. The $5 million ad buy, running in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia, is from the RNC's independent expenditure unit, which uses RNC money but works independently of the party apparatus.

The non-attack ad comes even as BuzzFeed reports that the Romney campaign plans to take the gloves off when it comes to criticizing Obama for everything from his drug use to his association with former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence.

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