President Barack Obama's reelection campaign is making sure that every last voter has heard Mitt Romney's 47 percent comments, releasing a new ad on Thursday that contrasts the GOP nominee's controversial words with images of Americans representing "the 47 percent" he spoke of. According to recent polling, the firestorm over Romney's remarks has already hurt his standing in swing states.
The audio for the Obama ad, titled "My Job," is lifted entirely from the video secretly recorded at a private fundraiser in May. The tactic is similar to one the Obama campaign employed when focusing scrutiny on Romney's tax returns: The earlier ad used Romney's rendition of "America the Beautiful" as a soundtrack and has been called the most effective spot of this electoral cycle.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it," Romney said in the fundraiser video.
The ad closes with Romney stating, "And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
The spot will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado. The campaign released another ad Thursday in the same battleground states, featuring the president making a two-minute pitch for what he calls a "new economic patriotism."
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, issued the following statement in response to the new 47-percent ad: "President Obama's policies have devastated the middle class -- unemployment remains chronically high, poverty has increased, and incomes have fallen. This election presents a clear choice between the government dependency of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's vision of economic freedom. Mitt Romney's plan for a stronger middle class will create more jobs and more take-home pay, helping all Americans by spurring economic growth, creating 12 million jobs, and getting the economy on the right track again."
Obama's team has publicly stated that the 47-percent comments will be a big part of its messaging leading up to Nov. 6. This is the campaign's third ad on the subject, which the president has also incorporated into his stump speech while campaigning across the country.
The Pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action has launched a radio ad campaign of its own targeting Romney over the 47 percent, in collaboration with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The first radio ad will run in the swing states Ohio and Virginia beginning this week as part of a $1.25 million ad buy -- the largest radio ad buy for any outside group this cycle.
This story has been updated with comment from the Romney campaign.