Obama Unwinds Romney Debate — `President with Character’ Needed

The Obama campaign, working to recover from a presidential debate last week which critics and the polls alike handed to Mitt Romney, is challenging the Republican rival’s “character” with a rebuttal of Romney’s claims on stage.

“When the cameras rolled, a performance began,” President Barack Obama’s new minute-long video says. “But the problem is, that’s all it was.”

It shows Romney on stage in Denver denying he proposes a $5 trillion cut — with Ezra Klein of the Washington Post on MSNBC refuting the claim in “Mitt’s Math.”

The 20 percent tax cuts that Romney proposes across the board, while continuing the Bush-era tax cuts, total nearly $5 trillion, and Obama was talking about that in debate last week. Romney maintains he will offset that cost with the closing of loopholes, particularly for high-earners, but he hasn’t specified any plans.

The Obama campaign has turned to the independent Tax Policy Center to support its claims that Romney cannot accomplish his tax cuts and offsetting loophole closings without reaching into exemptions that middle-income taxpayers enjoy. The Romney campaign, since the debate, has aired an ad citing the American Enterprise Institute in support of his contention — with the Obama campaign responding that the AEI is no independent monitor; its board members include former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The  campaign’s Web video, cut for minute-long TV ad length, shows Romney on-stage touting his health-care plans for including coverage for pre-existing conditions, which a fact-checker labels false. The ad highlights more of the post-debate fact-checking that the Obama campaign has citied in accusing Romney of telling lies in the first of their three debates.

“His massive new tax cut for millionaires means higher taxes on the middle class,” the narrator says, “and AARP says Romney’s plan undermines Medicare by turning it into a voucher.”

“America needs a president with character,” it concludes, with visuals that mock Romney’s body language on stage, “not a politician who just plays one.”

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