In Iowa and eight other battleground states today, President Obama’s reelection campaign rolled out its most striking ad to date — an “instant classic,” Rolling Stone‘s Tim Dickinson called it. The ad shows news clippings about Mitt Romney’s job-outsourcing record and offshore tax havens (read more about that in this excellent Vanity Fair piece) as Mitt Romney’s rendition of “America the Beautiful,” which he sang at The Villages retirement community January in Florida, plays in the background:
The ad is part of an ongoing effort to hit Romney on his time at Bain Capital, which he co-founded in 1984, and discrepancies over when he left the company. For months, the primary pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA Action, run by Obama’s former deputy chief of staff Bill Burton, has plotted how to define Romney before the inevitable barrage of conservative attacks hits Obama this fall. The Obama campaign itself, which by law is prohibited from coordinating with any super-PAC, has spent nearly $100 million on ads in a similar effort. (The Obama campaign has spent more than $7 million on ads in Iowa alone since the beginning of May.)
Romney has only just begun to respond to the attacks in a serious way — a sign that the anti-Bain campaign’s effectiveness has compelled him to go on the defensive.