Romney features laid-off workers in new ad

Mitt Romney gave President Obama a taste of his own medicine Wednesday with a new Web video featuring struggling Americans who pin their financial straits on unfulfilled economic promises by the president.

In recent ads, it has been the Obama campaign spotlighting people who have lost jobs, benefits and pensions, but they have blamed Romney and Bain Capital, the private equity firm he led from 1984 to 1999.

The Obama ads have been criticized, even by some Democrats, as unfair attacks on free enterprise. This week, the president and his team have sought to refine their message, saying the ads are not about the virtues of private equity but about whether the bottom-line focus that made Romney a successful businessman would make him a good president.


On Monday, Obama defended his campaign’s scrutiny of Romney’s business record, which the presumptive Republican nominee had dismissed as a side show.

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“This is not a distraction; this is what this campaign is going to be about,” Obama said.

Romney’s new ad, called “Stories from the Obama Economy,” opens with that statement by Obama and challenges it in onscreen text: “No Mr. President It’s About This …”

The remainder of the minute-long video consists of closeup shots of unidentified people describing layoffs, foreclosures and bankruptcies. The longest and last word goes to someone who represents two of Obama’s strongest voting blocs, a black woman.

“I expected great things from the president when he was elected, and now it is just a feeling of disappointment that he has not been able to fulfill all the things, all of the changes that he talked about,” the woman says.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.