The election may have entered its "big-ideas" stage with the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick. But the early attacks leveled by both campaigns in the wake of that choice have stayed largely on the smaller and more superficial matters.

The Romney campaign released a new ad on Tuesday morning focusing on the attack that had it griping last week from a pro-Obama super PAC. The ad laments the tone of the campaign and seeks to tie the president to the charged insinuation -- from Priorities USA Action -- that Bain Capital's closure of a steel plant had a ripple effect that resulted in a women's death from cancer.


“What does it say about a president’s character when his campaign tries to use the tragedy of a woman’s death for political gain?" the ad says, without noting that the campaign and super PAC are legally prohibited from coordinating.

Separately, the Obama campaign on Tuesday morning continued to push back on accusations that the president was somehow gutting the work requirement of welfare reform by granting states more flexibility. A new web ad underscored the extent to which the Romney attack line -- based entirely on a distorted reading of the waiver policy -- has been debunked and fact-checked.


And as if to prove that all politics is local, the Obama campaign noted that during the president's speech in Iowa Tuesday, he would be hammering Romney on wind policy, of all things.

"President Obama will push Congress to extend the production tax credit for wind energy companies right now to create American jobs and support American businesses and manufacturers, and highlight the clear choice Iowans have in this election on this critical issue," one Obama campaign aide said in an email.

"In a moment when homegrown American energy like wind is creating new jobs in states like Iowa, Mitt Romney wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers. 37,000 jobs across this country that depend on wind energy -- including 7,000 jobs in Iowa, more than in any other state."

There will undoubtedly be days in which the campaigns engage in a deep debate over Ryan's budget and the president's blueprint for job growth. Tuesday, August 14, 2012, does not appear to be one of those days.

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  • Where Have You Been (Rihanna)

    US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with his running mate Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan in front of the campaign bus prior to each boarding their own campaign airplanes at General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 12, 2012. (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Happy Together (The Turtles)

    WAUKESHA, WI - AUGUST 12: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin native Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) greet supporters during a campaign event at the Waukesha Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

  • Right By My Side (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown)

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, listens to his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan R-Wis., as they campaign Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in High Point, N.C. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Only Wanna Be With You (Hootie & The Blowfish)

    WAUKESHA, WI - AUGUST 12: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin native Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) hug after speaking at a campaign event at the Waukesha Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

  • I Cry (Flo Rida)

    WAUKESHA, WI - AUGUST 12: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) looks on as his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) wipes away tears during a homecoming campaign rally at the Waukesha County Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • You're My Best Friend (Queen)

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., talk in the campaign bus before an event at the Waukesha county expo center, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wis. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Wouldn't It Be Nice (The Beach Boys)

    WAUKESHA, WI - AUGUST 12: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin native Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) greet supporters during a campaign event at the Waukesha Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

  • I'll Stand By You (The Pretenders)

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and his newly announced vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, greet supporters, during a campaign rally in Manassas, Va., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Two Tickets To Paradise (Eddie Money)

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan R-Wis. are joined by Ronmey's granddaughter Chloe while talking to reporters on the charter flight between Virginia and North Carolina, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • We Found Love (Rihanna)

    WAUKESHA, WI - AUGUST 12: Republican vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin native Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) wipes away tears as he and presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greet supporters during a campaign event at the Waukesha Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)