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Adwatch: Misleading Romney ad suggests Obama doesn't want to talk about economy
WASHINGTON (AP) ' TITLE: "Believe in America"
LENGTH: 60 seconds
AIRING: In New Hampshire through Sunday
KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with grainy footage from a Barack Obama rally in Londonderry, N.H., in the midst of his 2008 presidential campaign against Sen. John McCain. Obama proclaims "I am confident that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis." Text is then shown on the screen: "He promised to fix the economy. He failed."
The ad then cuts between footage from Obama's rally and stock video of shuttered businesses, foreclosed homes and shuffling workers. On screen, text declares: "Greatest Jobs Crisis Since Great Depression. Record Home Foreclosures. Record National Debt."
The imagery then shifts to blue skies and Mitt Romney's name on the side of a barn. As Romney promises to change government, the ad shows video of him speaking in Iowa, meeting with a voter ' with his book "No Apology" on the table between them ' and stock video of factory workers.
"I'm going to do something to government. I call it the 'Smaller, Simpler, Smarter' approach to government. Getting rid of programs, turning programs back to states and, finally, making government itself more efficient," Romney says, using video from a Nov. 7 appearance in Dubuque, Iowa. "I'm going to get rid of Obamacare. It's killing jobs and it's keeping our kids from having the bright prospects they deserve."
He then turns to the economy, voters' top concern.
"We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in. I'll make sure that America is a job creating machine like it has been in the past. It's high time to bring those principles of fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C."
The ad closes with a photograph of Romney's campaign announcement event in New Hampshire this spring. His campaign poster hangs on the barn behind him.
ANALYSIS: Romney's first ad of the presidential campaign takes Obama out of context and gives the impression that the president is talking about his time in office, not that of his predecessor.
"Who's been in charge of the economy?" Obama asked the crowd in 2008, criticizing Republicans including President George W. Bush.
The ad shows Obama saying: "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," giving viewers with the impression that Obama does not want to talk about the dire economy.
In fact, Obama was quoting his opponent's campaign: "Sen. McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose''', he said.
Romney aides acknowledge they were using video of Obama quoting an anonymous aide McCain. Romney's top communications aide Gail Gitcho disclosed that Obama is quoting someone else in a blog post and later defended the ad.
"Three years ago, candidate Obama mocked his opponent's campaign for saying, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose,'" Gitcho said in an email. "Now, the tables have turned. President Obama is doing exactly what candidate Obama criticized. The White House doesn't want to talk about the economy and continues to attempt to distract voters from President Obama's abysmal economic record."
There's no doubt the economy is in trouble. Nearly 14 million people are out of work in the U.S. Since Obama took office in January 2009, the economy has lost 2.2 million jobs. The economy also has 6.6 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in December 2007 ' under Bush.
But it is telling that Romney uses his first ad of his second White House bid to take Obama's quotes out of context and not pitch his own record as successful businessman, the leader of 2002's Olympics or his four years as Massachusetts governor.
The ad is the second time in as many weeks that Romney has taken an Obama quote out of context. In interviews last week, Romney contended that Obama said Americans were "lazy."
Obama was actually talking about U.S. efforts to lure foreign investment, not Americans themselves. But Romney didn't make that distinction and mischaracterized the president's comments at an economic summit. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is challenging Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, aired an ad using the same incorrect claim.
Romney sees himself as the front-runner and rarely engages his Republican rivals. The ad began airing as Obama visited New Hampshire and portrays Romney as running against the incumbent ' bypassing the nominating process and his GOP rivals.