he group behind the ad: "Out of Touch," an attack on presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney (watch the ad below), was launched by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), the political arm of Planned Parenthood, after PPAF endorsed President Obama — only the third time the 90-year-old organization has endorsed a presidential candidate.
The ad: The spot kicks off with a controversial clip in which Romney says, "Planned Parenthood — I'm going to get rid of that." A voice-over declares that the GOP presidential hopeful would "deny women the birth control and cancer screenings they depend on." Next, another Romney snippet has him saying he'd overturn Roe v. Wade, a move the voice-over says would "deny women the right to make their own medical decisions." Finally, we hear audio of a male Romney aide responding to a phone call about equal pay: "We'll get back to you on that." "Romney's putting your paycheck at risk," says the voice-over, before calling Romney "out of touch and wrong for women."
The ad buy: The PPAF is spending a whopping $1.4 million to air its ad on broadcast and cable TV in Florida, Iowa, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., through June 19.
The strategy: The PPAF, which "has become increasingly politically active in the past two years, since House Republicans pushed to cut off all government funds for the group," is trying to "play into the Obama campaign's argument that Romney and Republicans are waging a 'war on women,'" says Cameron Joseph at The Hill. The Obama campaign must be thankful, says Maggie Haberman at Politico. The size of the ad buy and "the surgical nature of the strike represent something of a test assault on Romney."
The reaction: The problem with the Romney quote about "getting rid of" Planned Parenthood, says FoxNews.com, is that "in the original interview with a St. Louis TV station, Romney appeared to be saying he'd get rid of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and not the organization itself." When pressed about the spot's accuracy on MSNBC's Morning Joe, PPAF president Cecile Richards noted, "Those are his own words — I didn't make those up." But by "equating 'women's health' with access to contraception and abortion" is Planned Parenthood "saying that pregnancy is a disease?" asks Rick Moran at The American Thinker. The organization may regret raising its own profile in the campaign and, thus, inviting more scrutiny and criticism. Whatever the result, says Katie J.M. Baker at Jezebel, "even in the bullshit heavy political sphere, there's nothing more powerful than using someone's own words against him."
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