AdWatch: Obama ad goes after Romney on outsourcing
NEW YORK—TITLE: "Believes."
LENGTH: 30 seconds
AIRING: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, all key battleground states.
KEY IMAGES: Static photos of Mitt Romney and a shuttered factory building, superimposed with a Washington Post headline that says Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney co-founded, "invested in companies that moved jobs overseas." Those give way to video of President Barack Obama visiting an auto plant and speaking to workers.
SCRIPT: "What a president believes matters. Mitt Romney's companies were pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low-wage countries. He supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. President Obama believes in insourcing. He fought to save the U.S. auto industry, and favors tax cuts for companies that bring jobs home. Outsourcing versus insourcing."
ANALYSIS: The Obama campaign is continuing to attack Romney's tenure at Bain, hoping to undercut the former Massachusetts governor's argument that his experience in the private sector makes him more qualified than the president to revive the limping economy. The ad seizes on a recent Washington Post story outlining how several Bain-backed businesses transferred jobs to lower-wage countries such as China and India. Romney's campaign said the story was factually inaccurate and asked the Post for a retraction. The newspaper stood by its report.
There is no question that Bain did invest in businesses that moved jobs overseas to cut costs -- a trend that began in the 1990s and which many U.S. companies followed. But that doesn't mean Romney personally directed those companies to follow such practices.
Obama earlier this year outlined a tax overhaul plan that, among other things, would end tax credits for companies that shipped jobs overseas. He made a similar pledge during the 2008 campaign but it hasn't yet been enacted. He also has proposed creating a new tax credit to cover moving expenses for companies that shut down production overseas and bring back jobs to the U.S.
Romney criticized Obama's tax plan when it was released in February, warning it would result in higher taxes for businesses. But he did not specifically criticize the proposal to end tax breaks for companies that move jobs abroad.
The ad's reference to Obama's working to save the auto industry is a nod to the substantial aid the government provided to Chrysler and General Motors to rescue the auto giants from near bankruptcy. Romney opposed the bailout; he favored allowing the companies to go through the bankruptcy process.