In the 30-second spot, the Obama team says bluntly that Romney's unwillingness to make all of his returns public “makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all. ” The ad shows a clip of Romney in an interview saying, “You know what, I’ve put out as much as we’re gonna put out.” And the ad concludes with the question, "What is Mitt Romney hiding?"
Romney released his 2010 return and an estimate for 2011 in January after he lost the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich. His GOP primary foes also hammered him on the tax issue. Those returns showed that Romney paid less than 15 percent on his federal income.
The preemptive strike by the Obama camp as Romney visits blue collar, conservative Westmoreland County is all part of its continued effort to convince everyday Americans that Romney cannot understand their plight. The ad is running exclusively for now in the Pittsburgh media market, which crosses over a bit into battleground Ohio as well.
The Romney campaign shot back that Obama is focused on attacking Romney because he doesn't want to talk about his own record as president.
“With no rationale for reelection, President Obama has resorted to the tactics of a typical politician desperate to hold on to power," said Kate Meriwether, Romney's Pennsylvania spokesperson. "Rather than talk about the issues that are important to middle-class families, President Obama has decided to mislead voters and run a campaign based on character attacks. He once criticized politicians who make a ‘big election about small things.’ But with 23 million Americans struggling for work and a faltering economy, that is all he has left to run on.”
Here's the Obama team's latest ad running in Pennsylvania: