The candidate: Mitt Romney
The ad: The new spot (watch it below) warns voters that Obama and the Democrats have effectively raised taxes by $1 trillion "to pay for government-run healthcare" — and that the taxes that will be levied particularly harshly against the middle class. Three times in the 30-second spot, a photo flashes on screen of President Obama embracing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, paired with phrases like "Who will raise taxes on the middle class? Barack Obama and the liberals already have." Romney and "common-sense conservatives," on the other hand, "will cut taxes on the middle class," and "close loopholes for millionaires," the female narrator says, before closing with Romney's new slogan: "We can't afford four more years" of Obama.
The ad buy: Romney's campaign did not disclose where the ad will air or specify the amount of the ad buy.
The strategy: The ad seizes on "Obama's connection" to Pelosi, "who remains a frequent target for Republicans," says Ashley Killough at CNN. And the spot aggressively "attacks the duo on the healthcare reform bill that passed in 2010 while Pelosi served as House speaker," a position she later lost when the GOP won control of the House in the midterm elections, says Michael D. Shear at The New York Times. The Romney campaign "appears to be basing the claim of higher healthcare taxes on the idea that the individual mandate included in the [Affordable Healthcare Act] is a tax" — a designation that was critical to the Supreme Court's legal basis for upholding ObamaCare, but that creates political problems for the White House.
The reaction: It seems that Romney has "changed his mind about whether President Obama has already raised taxes," says Shear. Just last month, the GOP candidate admitted that the "one thing" Obama didn't do during his four years was raise taxes. Hold on, says John Hinderaker at Power Line. Let's not forget that "one of the Obama campaign's big lies is that Romney will raise taxes on the middle class — to 'pay for' tax cuts to billionaires." What's good for the goose...