The Washington Post

Romney campaign hits back with singing video

Mitt Romney’s campaign is pushing back on a new outsourcing attack with a Web video, another sign of a newly combative campaign.

The video accuses President Obama of handing out “political payoffs” at the expense of the middle class, a new line of attack that Romney hopes will help him regain momentum after weeks of playing defense.

In Romney’s video, Obama sings “Let’s Stay Together” at a fundraiser over clips about the perks donors get in his administration. NPR, the Washington Times and New York Times articles on the access donors have to the White House flash onscreen.

“Lots of love for the donor class. What about the middle class?” the text reads.

It closely follows an Obama ad released over the weekend attacking Romney’s record at Bain Capital. In that ad, audio of Romney singing “America the Beautiful” plays over images of closed factories and text alleging the former Massachusetts governor moved jobs overseas.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Obama was “mocking” the patriotic song.

Web ads are only seen by the small group of people who follow politics closely. Romney himself, along with his surrogates, are also pushing the “political payoffs” angle in interviews.

“There is no question but that when billions upon billions of dollars are given by the Obama Administration to the businesses of campaign contributors, that is a real problem particularly at a time when the middle class is really suffering in this country,” Romney told Fox News on Monday morning. “I think it stinks to high heaven.”

In a conference call with reporters, Romney adviser Ed Gillepsie said Obama was practicing “Chicago-style politics and Chicago-style economics” — the same line he used to describe the president’s negative ads in a CNN interview Sunday. He said that reporting on Obama’s donors had been “kind of scattershot” and the campaign goal was to “lay them all out and say this is a pattern.”

Close to $4 billion in stimulus dollars did go to firms with connections to Obama staffers and advisers. Some were run by top Obama donors. The department says those connections played no role in funding decisions.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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