Following his strong debate performance, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney released a new ad Thursday saying he would create 12 million jobs if elected.
"Let me tell you how I will create 12 million jobs when President Obama couldn't," says Romney. "First, my energy independence policy means more than three million new jobs. Many of them in manufacturing. My tax reform plan to lower rates for the middle class and for small business creates seven million more."
"And expanding trade, cracking down on China, and improving job training takes us to over 12 million new jobs."
Romney provides few specifics to back up his claim. And a white paper by his economic advisers shows that it would mean growth of between 200,000 and 300,000 jobs per month, less than the 500,000 Romney has said would occur monthly during a "normal recovery."
Still, the ad appears to be an attempt by Romney to refocus the election on the issue that he thought would be a slam-dunk for him as a former businessman -- jobs. He had moved away from that message in the summer, instead running ads on a debunked welfare claim and accusing President Barack Obama of declaring a "war on religion."
The Obama campaign has hammered Romney as an outsourcer of jobs for his tenure at the helm of Bain Capital, and argued that a leaked video of him saying that 47 percent of Americans are "dependent on government" showed he doesn't care about the plight of the jobless. A Reuters poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a 7-point advantage on jobs.
A spokeswoman for Romney declined to discuss the size of the ad buy.