First major Democratic attack ad goes after Romney, Gingrich

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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Shots fired!

Democratic operatives blasted off their first major attack ad in the run up to the 2012 presidential election, marking the beginning of what’s going to be another long, finger-pointing election season. At least with Friday’s video, the public has an idea of what issues and which Republican contenders Democrats plan to go after: Mitt Romeny, Newt Gingrich and round of health care squabbling.

The attack ad was made by Priorities USA Action, which has deep ties to the Obama White House (it was formed by former aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney to counteract Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, according to USAToday).

Like a child learning to walk, the first major Democratic attack ad of the presidential race is a little awkward, attacking the two Republican contenders for seeming to agree with parts of the national health care plan.

It begins by mentioning the comments New Gingrich made about Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s “radical” health-care plan, for which he was widely criticized  by Republican commentators and strategists. What follows is an unsurprising, if descriptive and emergency-room appropriate, comment by South Carolina governor Nikki Haley condemning Gingrich. Then comes a Romney quote, with a voice over mocking Romney’s suppose flip-flopping on health-care reform:

Mitt Romney says he’s “on the same page” as Paul Ryan, who wrote the plan to essentially end Medicare.

But with Mitt Romney, you have to wonder…which page is he on today?

The reference, of course, is Massachusetts’ “RomneyCare” and the former Governor’s recent defense of it/criticism for “ObamaCare.

In a statement today, Andrea Saul, spokeswoman for the Romney for President Exploratory Committee said:

President Obama’s first campaign ad is an attack ad. President Obama and his team are desperate to change the subject to anything other than jobs and the millions of Americans out of work. With 9.6% unemployment in South Carolina, voters are looking for a jobs plan not a smear campaign.

Whether the ad is a serious attack against the Republican hopefuls or an attempting to sic a rabid Republican base on leaders that could eventually attract moderate voters is unclear. Funny enough, the ad does paraphrases what Gingrich said on “Meet the Press.” It’s exactly what Gingrich feared would happen, after he attempted to back-peddle from his game-changing comments earlier this week.

“Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood,” Gingrich had prophesied to Greta Van Sustren.

The damage from the damage control was ridiculed by both Jon Stewart and  Stephen Colbert on their respective shows, with Stewart even offering a backhanded compliment for the former Speaker of the House, who was “appealing to the moderate wing of the Republican party.” The “falsehood” kerfuffle begins at 4.50 :

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