Gettin’ nasty: New ad rips Romney as the inventor of “government run health care”

January 24, 2012

Yesterday the Romney campaign unleashed perhaps its harshest attack ad yet, hammering Newt Gingrich for having “cashed in” off of Fannie and Freddie, which the ad described as a “scandal ridden agency that helped create the crisis.”

Now the pro-Gingrich Super PAC has unleashed its response — an ad in Florida that may be the most extensive on-air attack on Romney’s past liberalsim that we’ve yet seen, one that directly pins “Obamacare” on the former Massachusetts governor and rips him as “desperate” about his “failing campaign.”

In what may be the most incendiary charge of all, the ad hits Romney for having “invented government run health care.”

Interestingly enough, the footage in the ad will be familiar to many readers of liberal blogs. It shows Romney describing his views as “progressive” and calling for a “nation that’s taken a mandate approach.” It even features repeated shots of Obama himself hailing Romney’s role in creating the basis for his own health care overhaul:

Rick Tyler, who works for Winning Our Future, the pro-Newt Super PAC running the spot, says the ad is backed by a $6 million buy.

A number of observers have been rightly mystified by the failure of Romney’s rivals to fully exploit this line of attack, particularly since all this stuff is right there in the video files. Now it’s getting a full airing at a moment when conservative doubts seem to be mounting about Romney at an exponential pace. The inventor of government run health care? Brutal. Just brutal.

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UPDATE: The ad plays heavily on the “trust” theme. “Think you know Mitt? Think again,” it says, airing Romney’s self-description as “progressive” three times before asking: "How can we trust him?”

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.
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