Bermuda the Beautiful: Romney’s Soundtrack for Obama’s New Attack

Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Occupy Wall Street protesters demonstration against Mitt Romney in New York.

Updated at 1:30 pm,  3:30 pm and 11 pm EDT

Campaigns like to use their opponents’ own words against them.

President Barack Obama’s ad-men are using Mitt Romney’s voice.

Or rather, his off-key, straining rendition of “America the Beautiful.”


This morning, Obama’s campaign released a television advertisement, which it says will air in nine battleground states, that accuses Romney of “outsourcing” jobs and stashing his money in off-shore accounts, set to Romney’s singing one of his favorite songs.

Obama’s attack follows Romney’s round-robin appearances on broadcast and cable news networks last night complaining that Obama’s campaign is lodging relentless and unfair attacks against him.

“What happened?” Romney asks in his own ad attacking Obama, who has turned 89 percent negative in recent weeks. (Romney’s ads have run 94 percent negative in the same time frame.)

Obama’s newest attack follows a months-long string of ads, three-quarters of them negative in June, from camp Obama. This one overlays Romney’s singing at The Villages in Florida with headlines about Romney’s firm, Bain Capital, shipping jobs to Mexico and China, former Massachusetts Governor Romney outsourcing jobs to India and Romney stashing millions in a Swiss bank account and “tax havens like Bermuda… and the Cayman Islands.”

It closes with: “Mitt Romney’s not the solution. He’s the problem.”


Romney’s campaign is airing an ad entitled “What Happened?” suggesting that the idealism with which Obama campaigned for president has been lost in the mire of old-school politics. “If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters,” Obama is shown telling his audience at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. “If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone to run from,” Obama said, adding: “You make a big election about small things.”

The president’s remarks are interspersed with headlines about Obama’s attack strategy in his campaign against Romney, one citing Obama’s out-sourcing attacks as “unfair.” It closes with a line along the theme that Romney was voicing in his multi-network news appearances last night: “We expect more from a president.”

And the Republican National Committee has started airing ads, the first one up in Charlotte this morning, saying that Obama entered the White House with “big plans,” including cutting the deficit in half and lowering unemployment. “He tried,” the ad says. “You tried. It’s OK to make a change.”

It is part of the RNC’s first independent expenditure advertising, with a seven-state buy in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada budgeted at $5 million.

Obama’s singing-Romney ad is probably tougher than any of  the 52,016 “anti-Romney message” ads that Obama ran on TV (local broadcast, national network & national cable) in the 30-day period ended July 2 — 76 percent of  his total, by the count of New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which monitors campaign advertising.


The Obama campaign has ratcheted up its attacks, CMAG data show — with 89 percent of the campaign’s ads run during the 14-day period ending July 9 carrying anti-Romney messages.

About 94 percent of the 14,872 ads that Romney’s campaign ran in the 14-day period ended July 9 carried an anti-Obama message, CMAG data show.

The first new ad from Obama ran this morning in Davenport, Iowa, CMAG reports.

The campaign did not say how big the new ad buy is.

Greg Giroux and Mark Silva contributed to this report. 

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