The candidate: Mitt Romney
The ad: Set to uplifting music, the spot (watch it below) explains "what a Romney presidency would be like," starting on Day One, when "President Romney immediately approves the Keystone pipeline, creating thousands of jobs that Obama blocked." As president, the ad asserts, Romney would also introduce tax cuts "that reward job creators, not punish them." He would then "issue an order to begin replacing ObamaCare with commonsense health care reform."
The ad buy: The 30-second spot will air in swing states Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia at a cost of $1.3 million.
The strategy: To change the conversation. Romney is working overtime to create a positive mood with this "sunny ad," says David Lightman at McClatchy. The spot is "upbeat and statesmanlike — very much unlike the attack ads Romney supporters used during the primary campaign to crush opponents." Romney clearly hopes to use this new tone "to juxtapose himself with the president," who recently released a grim and combative ad painting Romney's tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital as vampiric, says Emily Friedman at ABC News. The "Day One" spot also depicts the former Massachusetts governor bonding with U.S. workers, "underscoring the campaign's central pitch that Romney is the best candidate to improve the economy," says Steve Peoples of The Associated Press.
The reaction: What a load of "empty promises," says Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith. Indeed, agrees Peoples: "Romney's ad oversimplifies complicated issues and exaggerates his potential influence as president." Yes, and it blindly ignores the stumbling block that is Congress, says Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post. Romney's "ambitious agenda will likely be hard to achieve because of the way the government works." Oh bah, humbug, says Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. This is a great ad — and a "pretty good plan," to boot.
The fallout: Romney's ad hasn't deflected focus from his years at Bain. This week, Newark Mayor and Obama surrogate Cory Booker reinvigorated the Bain debate when he chided the president for his "nauseating" attack on Romney's tenure at the private equity firm — all but ensuring that Bain, and not Romney's Day One plans, would dominate the campaign for days to come.