Romney debate ad focuses on economy, Medicare

Romney focuses on economy, Medicare, Social Security with new debate ad

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- TITLE: "The Choice"

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: Romney's campaign said it will air in swing states and nationally.

KEY IMAGES: The ad uses video from Mitt Romney' town hall-style presidential debate with President Barack Obama in Hempstead, N.Y., to attack the president's performance over the past four years. Besides some on-screen writing to emphasize certain points as Romney speaks, the only addition to the video is some somber background music.

"The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked," Romney says. "Median income is down $4,300 a family and 23 million Americans out of work. He said that he'd cut in half the deficit. He just hasn't been able to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them. That's what this election is about. It's about who can get the middle class in this country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of hope and optimism they deserve."

ANALYSIS: Romney uses one of his strongest moments from the debate in an ad designed to hammer home his economic message. The clip chosen by Romney's campaign is a part of his core campaign message, though some of his statements are misleading.

Median income is down under Obama, but Romney's assertion that 23 million Americans are out of work is an exaggeration. That figure actually combines those who are unemployed, those who are working part time when they want full-time jobs and those who have given up looking for work. Romney's rhetoric also ignores the fact that Obama inherited an economy that was hemorrhaging jobs — at one point as many as 800,000 jobs were being lost each month — and seems to place all the blame at Obama's feet for an economic collapse that begin under President George W. Bush.

Romney is correct that Obama failed to keep a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half. Obama has argued that he couldn't keep that promise once he understood the scope of the country's economic problems and pushed for a costly government stimulus program.

Romney is likewise correct that Obama has done little to reform Medicare and Social Security. But that's not totally his burden to bear. There's been little appetite from anyone in Congress from either party for widespread changes to the programs. Romney's own running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, has been one of those who have called for changes to Medicare that include significant cuts.

Using a clip from Romney's debate performance is designed to give voters the impression that Romney had a strong outing, and it lets the campaign use footage it rarely gets — the challenger Romney on stage, standing as an equal to Obama.

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