The PJ Tatler

Romney Rolls Out First Televised Ad: 'Believe in America'

The Romney campaign has rolled out their first televised ad of the campaign, titled “Believe in America.” Take a look.

The ad hammers the Obama economic record, but one quote in it is getting more attention than most. About two-thirds of the way through, we hear President Obama’s voice say “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re gonna lose.” The quote is from 2008, and Obama is apparently quoting a McCain aide. Democrats via the New York Times are crying foul about that one quote:

But the line, which is perhaps the spot’s most devastating moment, is also the one that seems to be the most taken out of context. In fact, at the time, Mr. Obama was referring to something that an aide to his then opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona, had said in reference to the McCain campaign — not Mr. Obama, then or now.

In a 2008 interview with The New York Daily News, an aide to Mr. McCain warned, “If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose,” and Mr. Obama picked up the comment and began using it to mock Mr. McCain on the campaign trail.

As soon as the ad was broadcast on Mr. Hannity’s show, the Romney campaign sent out an e-mail defending its use of Mr. Obama’s quote. (The e-mail also included Mr. Obama’s full quote: “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”)

“Three years ago, candidate Barack Obama mocked his opponent’s campaign for saying ‘if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose,’” said Gail Gitcho, Mr. Romney’s communications director, in an e-mail statement. “Now, President Obama’s campaign is desperate not to talk about the economy. Their strategy is to wage a personal campaign – or ‘kill Romney.’ It is a campaign of distraction.”

Ms. Gitcho added that “the tables have turned,” and implied that the line Mr. Obama once used against Mr. McCain could now be leveled against Mr. Obama himself.

Indeed. Use of the quote also forced the Obama camp to respond, which generates more discussion of the ad, which hammers the Obama economy in no uncertain terms.