Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama, released a new ad Friday that keeps Mitt Romney's tax returns in the spotlight.
The 30-second spot, titled "Small-Minded," opens with Romney stating on Thursday that he paid a tax rate of at least 13 percent for 10 years, the first time the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has offered any specifics about the contents of his undisclosed tax returns.
The narrator then pivots to Romney's newly tapped running mate, Paul Ryan, noting that under one of Ryan's budget proposals, Romney would pay a tax rate of just 1 percent in 2010. "That’s right," the narrator says. "Mitt Romney’s worth $200 million dollars, but under Paul Ryan’s budget, he’d pay only 1 percent in taxes, while middle class families would pay $1000 more."
The commercial cites a recent analysis by Roll Call that concludes Ryan's tax plan would cut 90 percent from Romney's tax bill, bringing his effective tax rate in 2010 down to about 1 percent. A similar analysis in the Atlantic estimated that Ryan's budget plan would slash Romney's 2010 tax rate to just 0.82 percent.
As the ad finishes, the narrator says: "Romney and Ryan. If they win, the middle class loses."
The ad, which will run online in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia, is also the first video from Priorities USA Action that targets Ryan since he was named Romney's vice presidential pick last week.
“Mitt Romney already pays a lower tax rate than many middle class families, but with Romney-Ryan economics he would pay even less,” Bill Burton, Priorities USA Action's senior strategist, said in a statement. “The Romney-Ryan ticket would not only protect a tax system that already benefits the wealthiest like Romney over middle class Americans, it would be taken from the paychecks of millions middle class families.”
Earlier on Friday, the Obama campaign also continued to press Romney on the tax return issue. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina penned a letter to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, vowing to no longer criticize Romney over his taxes if Romney releases five more years of returns. Rhoades refused the offer, turning instead to the president's economic record.