AP News

New ad seeks to show Romney's compassionate side


WASHINGTON (AP) — TITLE: "Too Many Americans"

LENGTH: 60 seconds.

AIRING: Mitt Romney's campaign did not disclose where the ad is running.

KEY IMAGES: Romney, wearing a check-pattern shirt open at the collar, speaks into the camera. "Too many Americans are struggling to find work in today's economy. Too many of those who are working are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to make falling incomes meet rising prices for food and gas."

He says more people are living in poverty than when President Barack Obama took office and that 15 million more are on food stamps.

"President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families," Romney says. "The difference is my policies will make things better for them. We shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. We should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good-paying job."

Romney adds that his plan will create 12 million new jobs over four years to help families escape poverty and strengthen the middle class.

ANALYSIS: Romney is trying to convince voters that he can do a better job fixing the economy than Obama but, beyond claiming that his plan would create 12 million jobs, he doesn't say anything in the ad about what his plan entails.

The ad is an attempt to show a more compassionate side of Romney after his campaign was stung by the release of secretly recorded video of Romney speaking at a private fundraiser in May and disparaging the "47 percent" of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes as government-dependent Obama supporters who see themselves as victims and won't take responsibility for their own lives.

Public opinion polls conducted after the "47 percent" was made public last week give Obama the advantage in battleground states, including Ohio and Virginia.

The ad tries to cast Romney as someone who understands the challenges faced by families struggling to make ends meet under trying economic times. The sluggish economy has long been front and center in the presidential contest. Democrats have sought to portray Romney as a wealthy former venture capitalist who cannot relate to the worries and economic woes of average folks.

Romney's campaign has tried on several fronts in recent weeks to warm up the former Massachusetts governor's image for voters, including a speech by Romney's wife, Ann, at the Republican National Convention that focused heavily on Romney's personal qualities, including his compassion.

Obama is running an ad in seven battleground states that is somewhat similar in style to Romney's. In that ad, the president also speaks into the camera and promotes his economic plan and a "new economic patriotism."

This type of straightforward candidate-as-narrator ad is more commonly used during the closing days of major races. Both of these ads come as early voting gets under way in some states.


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