With apologies to The Onion . . .

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on Thursday released a new ad that GOP advisers say epitomizes his years of running for president.

The spot depicts the former Massachusetts governor standing in front of a fluttering U.S. flag and repeating the word “America” for 25 seconds, before concluding with, “Not Obama.”

(Charles Dharapak/AP)

“The ad we’ve cut represents the sort of detailed, policy-rich alternative to President Obama that Governor Romney has offered this whole campaign,” Romney political adviser Russ Schriefer said.

“What?” replied former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. “This ad contains literally no coherent message.” Dean said something else, too, but everybody stopped paying attention because liberals are bad at messaging.

“The Romney campaign isn’t insulting to Americans,” a GOP aide said on the condition of anonymity. “On the contrary, only the smartest of voters could extract meaning out of the vague, constantly shifting statements Romney has offered them over the last few years. Imagine a 1,000-piece puzzle, and then imagine that the pieces don’t really fit together. I’d sure respect anyone who could face down that challenge and conclude, ‘Yeah, I’ll vote for that.’ ”

Team Romney says it will run its new ad in swing states and, in a surprise move that is in no way a last-minute campaign gimmick, in Democrat-leaning Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Romney-aligned groups have already been buying airtime.

“It’s all about momentum,” said Charlie Spies, treasurer of pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. “Mitt Romney is a perpetual motion machine,” Spies continued. “Did I say machine? I meant human. Mitt Romney is definitely a human. He’s a perpetual-motion Homo sapien. Actually, can you edit that to just read, ‘sapien’? Thanks.”

But number crunchers such as the New York Times’ Nate Silver said that whatever momentum Romney gained from a strong debate performance in early October has now slowed, if not stopped.

“Nate Silver has his ‘math,’ ” Schriefer shot back, waving finger quotes in the air, “but what substitute is that for gut instincts informed by anecdotal evidence and partisan preference? Pundits, don’t be turned from your usual habits.”

Obama political strategist David Axelrod countered that he would “eat his mustache” if Romney won Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania.

For some reason, The Post also contacted former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry for comment. “Texas!” he replied in an e-mail.