An already-nasty presidential campaign has just gotten even nastier.

A new Obama campaign ad hits Mitt Romney on a familiar theme — the presumptive GOP nominee’s tenure in private equity and his offshore accounts — but this time appears to make a pointed jab at Romney’s patriotism.


By featuring footage of Romney singing “America the Beautiful” — and overlaying it with excerpts from news reports on Romney’s Swiss bank account, the sending of jobs overseas by firms related to Bain Capital and Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor.

The audio of the ad is from Romney singing a verse from the song at a January campaign event at The Villages, a central Florida retirement community.

“Mitt Romney’s not the solution,” the ad concludes. “He’s the problem.”

Romney’s campaign responded by slamming Obama for a remark at a Friday campaign event in which he poked fun at those who watch Fox News.

“Every day, President Obama hits a new low. It is sad and shameful that President Obama would mock America the Beautiful,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “But sadly, it’s not surprising for the man who launched his presidency with an apology tour. The ‘Uncle Jims’ of our country – as he condescendingly calls middle-class Americans – don’t believe in mocking America the Beautiful and don’t believe in apologizing for America.”

The “Uncle Jims” reference was to a remark made by Obama at his Virginia Beach rally on Friday.

“So, just in case some of your friends or neighbors or, you know, Uncle Jim, who’s a little stubborn and been watching Fox News, you know, and he thinks that somehow I raised taxes, let’s just be clear,” Obama had said to laughter from the Virginia Beach crowd. “We’ve lowered taxes for middle-class families since I came into office.”

The Obama campaign says the spot is expected to air in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It did not, however, release figures on the size of the buy, and an Obama campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for details on the ad campaign.

The TV spot is the latest in a contentious battle between the campaigns on the theme of shipping jobs overseas — and represents a marked escalation in an already-negative campaign.

Factchecker Glenn Kessler has awarded two Pinocchios to one of the claims in the ad, that Romney “outsourced jobs to India” as governor. (For more on that, click here.)