Mitt Romney has a birthday gift for the president.
For an early surprise, the Republican presidential frontrunner released a web video on Tuesday evening focusing on Chicago’s own struggling economy. The video is part of Romney’s “Obama Isn’t Working” series, and comes just a day before Barack Obama celebrates his 50th birthday in his hometown.
The video highlights Chicago’s unemployment (up “48 percent”); record-setting low home prices; and continued layoffs by Chicago-based businesses. The 50-second spot also features images of Grant Park during Obama’s election victory night in 2008, starkly contrasted with an empty, perhaps regular-work-week shot of the park.
After weeks of debate over raising the debt ceiling, Obama signed a compromise deal yesterday just in time for his celebrations in Chicago, which will include — as ABC’s Jake Tapper put it — a Birthday-themed Fundraiser for his 2012 campaign. For Romney, the video is one of the first signs of life since the intense squabbling over the debt ceiling began. The former Massachusetts governor’s noted absence from the unstable, unpredictable political fray until just hours before the final senate vote on Monday has been a point of criticism.
The Democratic National Committee is having fun with Romney’s reserved mood, too. Hours after the video was released the DNC’s Rapid Response Team blasted out an email meant to combat the video’s statements with a different set of facts and figures. The email, however, also begins with a gleeful introduction.
“While residing in the ‘Mittness’ protection program and hiding from the issues and voters, Mitt Romney has released another video attacking the President,” read the email, which continues a few lines later.”Sent from somewhere in the ‘Mittness Protection Program’, Mitt Romney’s video is just more of the same rhetoric aimed at currying favor with the extreme wing of the Republican Party.”
Keeping a low-profile appears to be a strategy for the current GOP presidential front runner, as does sticking to other well-tested game plans. The “Obama Isn’t Working” series has apparently been hounding the President as he travels across a economically depleted country. Other videos in series followed the president as he visited Allentown, Pa. and the early primary state of New Hampshire.