Updated at 10 am EDT
Priorities USA Action, the super-PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election, is launching a $30 million anti-Mitt Romney offensive today. It kicks off with a new advertisement timed to the first day of the Republican National Convention.
The ad centers on Olive Chase, a registered independent and small business owner in Massachusetts who voted for Romney in 2002 and gave money to his gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts. Ten years later, she’s no longer a supporter.
“Governor Romney cares about big business, he cares about tax cuts for wealthy people, and I certainly do not believe he cares about my hardworking employees,” Chase says in the ad. “I feel like I was duped by Mitt Romney. I’m going to vote for President Obama.”
The project builds on the group’s earlier ad campaign. In the spring and summer, Priorities spent $20 million trying to define Romney and his character by undercutting his business experience, focusing on the former private equity executive’s time at the helm of Bain Capital LLC. Highlighting workers employed by companies in which Bain invested and shed jobs, the campaign contended that Romney was focused on creating profits at the expense of working-class Americans.
Today’s spot will run online and on television in the key battleground states of Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia. It’s the first in a series of ads the group will run focusing on Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor and the impact he would have on the middle class were he to be elected president.
“Americans are going to hear a lot of about Mitt Romney this week. These new ads are designed to make sure voters hear the whole story,” said Bill Burton, senior strategist for Priorities. “Looking back to his record in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney failed the people who made him governor, leaving the Bay State 47th in the nation in job creation. At issue now is that Romney wants to bring those same failed policies to the White House.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign donations, Chase hasn’t donated to Obama’s presidential campaigns. She did give $1,000 in April to Rep. Bill Keating, a Massachusetts Democrat.
“This is a desperate attempt by the president’s allies to try and distract voters from President Obama’s failed record,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote in an e-mail this morning. . President Obama’s policies have devastated the middle class and led to record unemployment and less take-home pay. We are happy to compare the 4.7 percent unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved with President Obama’s record of 42 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent any day.”