WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney is the focus of the first attack ad of the 2012 presidential race, with an independent group run by former aides to President Obama tagging Romney as both a flip-flopper and a politician who would not protect Medicare.
“Mitt Romney says he's 'on the same page' as Paul Ryan, who wrote the plan to essentially end Medicare,” a narrator says, as dark, black and white images of the former Massachusetts governor flash across the screen. “But with Mitt Romney, you have to wonder...which page is he on today?"
The ad, which also tweaks Newt Gingrich, is going to be running in South Carolina just as Romney makes his first visit of the year to the state tomorrow.
The ad is being run by Priorities USA Action, a political action committee that is headed by President Obama’s former deputy press secretary, Bill Burton. The group can accept unlimited donations and is meant to counter Republican groups that were formed during the 2010 midterm elections. Those groups were criticized at the time by top Democrats, who have filed legislation to curb the influence of outside money in politics.
" President Obama and his team are desperate to change the subject to anything other than jobs and the millions of Americans out of work,” Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney’s presidential exploratory committee, said in a statement. “With 9.6% unemployment in South Carolina, voters are looking for a jobs plan not a smear campaign."
Romney tomorrow is planning to visit South Carolina and meet with business owners. It is his first trip to the Palmetto State this year.
Romney has in fact said that he and Ryan were “on the same page,” although he has not wholly embraced the Wisconsin Republican’s budget plan, which includes drastic cuts to Medicare. Romney said last week that he would at some point present his own plan on reforming the health care program for the elderly sand said it would “not be identical but shares objectives” with Ryan’s plan.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.