Anatomy of a campaign ad: 'The Romney Plan'

Team Mitt tries to refocus on what Romney would actually do as president — though some specifics are still lacking

Pressured by both critics and supporters to offer more policy specifics, Mitt Romney is trying to give voters more details in a new ad.
(Image credit: YouTube)

The candidate: Mitt Romney

The ad: "The Romney Plan" (watch it below) features clips of ordinary Americans and booming industry interspersed with footage of Romney speaking directly to the camera as he promotes his plan to "help the middle class" by cracking down on "cheaters like China" to "open up markets" and make trade "work for America." The next step would be to balance the budget, Romney says, by reducing the amount of spending versus "what we take in." The last thing the Republican candidate suggests is to "champion small business" by having "tax policies, regulations, and health care policies that help small businesses." The implementation of these policies, Romney argues, would add 12 million new jobs in four years.

The ad buy: The Romney campaign has not specified the amount of the ad buy.

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The strategy: The Republican presidential nominee, "catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans," is trying to shift the focus of his campaign and open up more to voters, say Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei at Politico. Well, says Michael D. Shear at The New York Times, facing "slumping poll numbers, criticism from Republican party officials, and discord inside the campaign's headquarters in Boston," Romney simply must start making a "positive case for [his] presidency," considering that for much of the campaign, "the Republican candidate has focused more on attacking Mr. Obama's record in office." Clearly, say Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny at The New York Times, "the new plan to re-emphasize policy proposals... is a tacit admission by his campaign that he has yet to flesh out the 'hire Romney' part of his 'fire Obama/hire Romney' argument."

The reaction: Give me a break, says Quin Hillyer at The American Spectator. "The Romney Plan" is "nothing but gaudy political promises, eminently predictable, without substance." Sure, the ad is "short on specifics," says Siobhan Hughes at The Wall Street Journal, but "it does help Mr. Romney in one key mission: Moving beyond last week's comments on the Middle East." Take a look:

Sources: The American Spectator, The Daily Kos, Politico, The New York Times (2), The Wall Street Journal

See more campaign ad analyses:

-Obama's "Clear Choice"

-American Crossroads' "Smoke"

-Romney's "A Better Day"

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