Obama re-election campaign kicks off with withering ad attacking Mitt Romney's 'greatest lines'

 

Washington

The Republican primary contest may be over, but the Obama campaign served notice yesterday that it intends to let no one forget the professions of ultra-conservative faith that have helped make Mitt Romney the president’s all-but-certain opponent in November.

Less than 24 hours after the withdrawal of Rick Santorum, Mr Romney’s last realistic rival for the nomination, team Obama issued a withering attack ad, in effect a two-minute collage of what Democrats might call ‘Mitt’s Greatest Lines.’

“Memories to Last a Lifetime,” it is entitled. “Unforgettable Moments from an Unforgettable Campaign” – and all of them moments Mr Obama’s strategists believe will prove that the former Massachusetts Governor is a callous conservative, a rich man out to make the rich richer and out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans.

The featured “moments” include many of Mr Romney’s statements that made headlines during the bruising primary season, as the candidate desperately sought to assure sceptical Tea Party supporters and social conservatives that he was one of them.

They range from his “corporations are people, my friends” remark, to his confession that he enjoyed “firing people who provide services to me”, his hostility to the rescue of the car industry during the financial crisis, and his insistence that the cure for the foreclosure crisis in the housing market was to “let it run the course, hit the bottom.”

Also featured are Mr Romney’s efforts to prove himself a social conservative. He is shown urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion, and declaring his belief that life begins at conception. As for immigration, another litmus issue for the right, there is a clip of Mr Romney vowing to veto any bill that would allow some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

This pre-emptive strike from the Obama camp not only underlines how, for all intents and purposes, the general election campaign has already begun, but it strikes to the core of the dilemma Mr Romney faces as he switches gears for a contest in which he must broaden his appeal to win over independent and moderate voters.

Simultaneously, Mr Romney must retain the faith of his party’s conservative wing, crucial for energising the base and getting out the vote, while persuading potential swing voters that he is a pragmatic moderate at heart. Most presidential nominees move towards the centre once the primaries are won, but for Mr Romney, an awkward campaigner at the best of times, the task will be especially tricky.

Last month, Eric Fehrnstrom, one of his top aides, caused a furore with his now notorious ‘Etch a Sketch’ remark, apparently suggesting that his candidate would wipe the slate clean of the “severely conservative” Governor of Massachusetts (as Mr Romney famously described himself) and portray himself as a man of the people.

To square the circle, Mr Romney is likely to focus his fire on Mr Obama and his economic record, presenting himself as a competent manager whose policies will create jobs. One thing is clear however, as Mr Obama’s new video broadside underlines: in Campaign 2012, no holds will be barred.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Tepper had a stunningly successful career as a songwriter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Len Blavatnik
music
Sport

Today in the Premier League, Everton face Manchester United, and Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. A victory for Jose Mourinho's side, and they could win the Premier League title as soon as Wednesday with a win over Leicester.

Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The original field in High Wycombe, which is used as the banner image on a number of websites belonging to local Tory associations
general election
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions