“So shame on you, Barack Obama!” cries out the voice in the latest TV ad from the Romney campaign, airing only in Ohio. Yet the voice belongs not to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, but to an unlikely figure to appear in any Romney commercial: Hillary Clinton.
The footage comes from the bitterly contested Democratic primary campaign of 2008, when then-Sen. Clinton – now President Obama’s loyal and steadfast secretary of state – complained about the Illinois insurgent spending “millions of dollars perpetuating falsehoods.”
“But that’s Barack Obama,” the ad’s narrator intones, before adding that the man who went on to win the presidency first attacked Clinton with “vicious lies.”
The ad also cites a Washington Post column from last month that denounced a particular Obama attack ad against Romney as “misleading, unfair, and untrue.”
Tough stuff – and the latest attempt by the Romney campaign to demonstrate that it intends to meet head-on the barrage of attacks it has faced on the candidate’s private-equity career at Bain Capital. The Obama ad denounced in the Post column was one that had suggested Romney outsourced American jobs overseas during his 15-year career at the Boston-based financial firm.
Those Obama ads in turn relied on a Washington Post news article, published June 21, that reported that six companies that Bain invested in during Romney’s tenure at the firm were “pioneers” in the emerging trend of outsourcing U.S. jobs to foreign countries like India and China.
The Romney campaign collected statements from the six companies’ current and former CEOs, all of whom maintained that they had in fact added U.S. jobs during their respective periods of affiliation with Romney and Bain. They also said their reliance of foreign call centers and packaging plants was solely to support existing foreign sales of U.S. exports. After a meeting with the Post’s editorial board, in which the campaign demanded a retraction of the June 21 article, the paper announced it was standing by its reporting.
Then the independent group FactCheck.org weighed in on the Obama ads, declaring “we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney -- while he was still running Bain Capital -- shipped American jobs overseas."
An Obama-Biden campaign spokesman told Fox News that FactCheck.org “did get this one wrong.” Interviewed at the campaign’s headquarters in Chicago, campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt discounted the testimony from the current and former CEOs, and instead urged a reporter inquiring about them to talk to the workers who lost their jobs when these businesses shut down U.S.-based plants.