WASHINGTON (AP) — TITLE: “No Evidence.”
LENGTH: 30 seconds.
AIRING: Several battleground states.
KEY IMAGES: A narrator asks: “When a president doesn’t tell the truth, how can we trust him to lead?”
The words “Obama’s Outsourcing Attacks: ‘Misleading, Unfair and Untrue'” fill the screen, quoting from a Washington Post fact-checking article as the narrator echoes the charge.
“There was no evidence that Mitt Romney shipped jobs overseas,” says the narrator, citing an article from FactCheck.org. with the narrator’s words superimposed.
“Candidate Obama lied about Hillary Clinton,” says the narrator, followed by a clip of Clinton angrily accusing Obama of falsehoods during the 2008 Democratic primary fight. “So shame on you, Barack Obama,” she says.
The narrator concludes, “But America expects more from a president. Obama’s dishonest campaign: another reason America has lost confidence in Barack Obama.”
ANALYSIS: The hard-hitting ad from the Romney campaign comes as President Barack Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney accuse each other of lying, a rancorous new turn in the race. Obama’s campaign for weeks has been attacking Romney’s record at private equity firm Bain Capital. “Mitt Romney’s companies were pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low-wage countries,” a recent Obama ad said.
Obama wants to undercut the former Massachusetts governor’s pitch that his business background makes him more qualified than the president to fix the nation’s struggling economy.
Romney’s new ad is an attempt to blunt those charges, and is considered a sign that Obama’s negative attacks are working.
The ad all but calls Obama a liar. It accuses Obama of falsely depicting Romney as someone who shipped jobs overseas when he ran Bain Capital, and it uses Clinton to try to show that there’s a pattern to Obama’s alleged dishonesty.
It’s unclear the full extent to which Romney-owned companies have outsourced, but there’s no question Bain invested in businesses that moved jobs overseas to cut costs — a trend that began in the 1990s and which many U.S. companies followed.
Still, that doesn’t mean Romney personally directed those companies to move jobs overseas.
The Romney campaign has said the evidence the Obama team has used in its attacks is from after Romney left Bain in 1999. Romney insists job outsourcing was not a Bain policy when he was in charge.
Yet in one case, the Bain-controlled Holson Burnes Group Inc. specifically told federal regulators it outsourced manufacturing of 75 percent of its photo frames to “Far Eastern countries,” including China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. The company said it “significantly strengthened its relationship with those sources” in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed in March 1993, when Romney was at the company’s helm.
For Bain, the company was a financial success: Holson Burnes raised $24 million from its initial public offering on the over-the-counter trading market, with Bain executives retaining the majority of the company’s shares. Bain more than doubled its initial investment, according to a financial prospectus.
Associated Press writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report.