The Washington Post

New Romney ad: Obama running ‘dishonest campaign’

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is out with a second ad focused on President Obama’s negative ads, a sign that the Republican candidate will no longer let attacks go unanswered.

But Obama is already countering with his own lie accusations.

Like “Shame On You,” released in June, Romney’s new ad uses a clip of Hillary Clinton criticizing Obama during the 2008 campaign to attack the president. ”No Evidence” argues that Obama’s distortions are even worse now because of the office he holds.

“When a President doesn’t tell the truth, how can we trust him to lead?” the narrator asks, as clips of factcheckers debunking Obama ads flash on the screen. “Candidate Obama lied about Hillary Clinton ... But America expects more from a president. Obama’s dishonest campaign: Another reason America has lost confidence in Barack Obama.”

Romney’s campaign has also set up a page on its Web site,, linking to fact-checks of Obama ads and inviting users to “Learn The Truth” about Romney’s business career. It echoes Obama’s “Truth Team” and his 2008 “Fight the Smears” Web site.

For weeks, Romney has largely stayed silent as Obama accused him of outsourcing jobs both in Massachusetts and at the private equity firm Bain Capital.

“If you’re responding, you’re losing,” Romney said then.

Conservatives would like to see more counterpunching, as polling suggests the ads are taking a toll on Romney’s favorability. This new ad campaign is a start.

The campaign did not detail the ad buy for “No Evidence.”

Meanwhile, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter is calling Romney a liar. In a statement to reporters, Cutter highlighted a Boston Globe story reporting that Romney stayed at Bain three years longer than he claims. Calling it “Romney’s Big Bain Lie.” Cutter says, “Now, we know that he wasn’t telling the truth ... It’s time for Mitt Romney to come clean.”

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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