President Barack Obama's reelection campaign is once again attacking Mitt Romney over the issue of taxes, releasing a new ad on Thursday highlighting how the presumptive Republican nominee would raise taxes on middle class Americans while boosting the incomes of the nation's top earners.
The ad, titled "Stretch," takes a personal dig at Romney's own tax history, informing the viewer that Romney earned $20 million in 2010 but paid a rate of 14 percent -- "probably less than you."
The commercial then pivots to an independent study released by the Tax Policy Center on Wednesday, which concluded that Romney's tax plan would primarily help the wealthiest few. The Obama campaign immediately seized on the analysis to drive home a central message to its 2012 platform -- that while the president's focus is on middle class fairness and giving all Americans a fair shot, Romney would disproportionately protect the interests of the rich.
Romney's campaign has disputed the findings of the study, charging it does not represent the complete picture of his "pro-growth plan." But that argument is unlikely to prevent the Obama campaign from continuing to paint Romney as an out-of-touch millionaire whose primary concerns don't extend to the average American worker.
Indeed, the ad ties the tax rate issue with Romney's own wealth, closing with the words: "Mitt Romney's middle class tax increase: he pays less, you pay more."
The ad will air in eight swing states: New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.
UPDATE: 11:00 a.m. -- Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, issued the following response to the ad:
"President Obama's policies have devastated the middle class, resulting in higher unemployment, lower incomes, and greater uncertainty about the future. The only answer he has for his failed policies is to cite false and inaccurate studies and to raise taxes on millions of families, small businesses, and job creators. That is the last thing we should do in this economy. Mitt Romney has a plan for a stronger middle class that will lower tax rates across the board, cut the deficit, and get our economy growing again."
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