Huffpost Politics

Mitt Romney Releases First General Election Ad

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney's first general-election TV commercial promises he would introduce tax cuts and approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline on the first day of his presidency.

The Republican candidate released the ad Friday, coupling it with a fundraising pitch. The 30-spot is upbeat, in contrast to an ad President Barack Obama is running that criticizes Romney as a businessman. Romney has called the Obama ad "character assassination."

In Romney's commercial, his first since becoming the presumptive nominee, an announcer asks: "What would a Romney presidency be like?"

"Day One: President Romney immediately approves the Keystone pipeline, creating thousands of jobs that Obama blocked," the announcer declares, referring to a pipeline Obama has delayed. Republicans insist his decision shows Obama's hostility toward the energy industry.

"President Romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish them," the announcer says, repeating a familiar Republican theme.

Then, in an effort to ease conservative skepticism, the announcer says: "President Romney issues order to begin replacing Obamacare with common-sense health care reform."

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a health care overhaul that was a model for Obama's health care law. Conservatives loathe the law's requirement that individuals purchase health insurance or face penalties.

Romney does not speak in the ad. But it shows video and still photos of Romney appearing with U.S. workers, underscoring the campaign's central pitch that Romney is the best candidate to improve the economy.

The ad ignores Congress' role in fulfilling these promises, especially on the health care law. A full repeal would require votes from Republican majorities in both the House and Senate or Democratic support for repeal. Republicans currently control the House and have voted to repeal the law. But Democrats control the Senate, and the balance of power on Capitol Hill would have to shift in order to make Romney's pledge a reality.

Congress also would have to act on taxes. The president cannot set tax rates.

Data provided to The Associated Press from TV stations and media buyers shows Romney is spending $1.3 million to air the ad in Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio, all critical battleground states.

"It is quite different than the ones that have come from the Obama campaign. Instead of attacking on a personal nature, it describes the things that I would do if I were elected president," Romney told voters in those states during a Friday conference call.

Obama's campaign characterized the ad's promises as recycled rhetoric.

"Mitt Romney's empty promises are nothing new. The people of Massachusetts heard them when he ran for governor in 2002," said Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith. "The one thing he did accomplish – implementing health care reform that was a model for federal reform – is now something he would undo on day one of his presidency".

Romney also released Spanish-language version of the ad.

The campaign had not aired commercials since April, when Romney's top Republican challenger, Rick Santorum, dropped out of the presidential race.

Several conservative super PACs have been airing ads attacking Obama.

___

Associated Press writer Beth Fouhy in New York contributed to this report.

Around the Web

Mitt Romney's claim that 100000 auto jobs have been lost under Obama

Mitt Romney Defends His Wright Quote: 'I Stand by What I Said, Whatever It Was'

Biden: 'Romney seems to want it both ways' on auto bailout credit

Mitt Romney playing with fire by summoning Bill Clinton

Mitt Romney on George W. Bush: Who? (Loop's quote of the week)

Romney releases first general election TV ad

Dubya endorses Mitt as elevator door closes

Mitt Romney easily wins Nebraska, Oregon primaries

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results