Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kicking Mitt in Ohio

The Obama campaign is airing a new TV add in Ohio that's likely to help the president's lead in a critical state.

Kicking Mitt in Ohio


It might not quite be kicking Mitt while he's down (the national race remains close), but a new Obama TV ad is sure a swift kick in Ohio

The 30-second ad titled "No Taxes" is running this week in a state critical to the November outcome since. as we are constantly reminded, no Republican has ever won the presidency without also winning Ohio.

The spot hits two major campaign highlights that clearly help the president: it reprises Mitt's 47-percent comments and tags him again for not releasing all his past income tax records.

You can see the ad here.

It comes at a time Mitt is struggling to get back on his feet and back on message that Obama hasn't done enough to spur economic recovery.

It also comes as the president leads in Ohio, according to the latest polls, including an Enquirer/Ohio Newspaper Organization poll showing Obama with a 5-point lead.

"Mitt Romney attacked 47% of Americans who pay no income tax," says a narrator, "including veterans, elderly, the disabled."

Then a portion of the clip from Romney's now-famous hidden-camera remarks at a Florida fundraiser last May plays: "My job is not to worry about those people."

Nevermind Romney clearly was speaking about politicial strategy (albeit questionable strategy since any well-managed campaign should "worry" about groups of voters not likely to support it and work hard to blunt rather than encourage such non-support), the quote makes it seem Mitt doesn't care about half the country.

Then the ad effectively ties Mitt's own tax issue -- the fact he hasn't released his returns for years prior to 2010 -- to the 47 percent comment.

"Maybe instead of attacking others on taxes," the narrator says, "Romney should come clean on his."

By linking the old returns question to the new 47 percent comment, Obama's camp reminds voters of one of its central themes: Romney's a rich guy who's out of touch and maybe hiding something.

Thus Mitt gets a double-kick in a state (if history is any guide) he must have in order to win.

His response so far? Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is in Pennsylvania today holding events with "Women for Mitt" groups

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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