Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton Was Not Always an Obama Fan, Romney Ad Recalls


Ad Watch

Tracking and analyzing campaign advertising.

Bill Clinton proved Wednesday night to be one of President Obama's most forceful and substantive surrogates, but he has hardly been the most consistent. In fact, in a new ad, Mitt Romney's campaign is reminding voters that Mr. Clinton was once a sharp critic of Mr. Obama, in 2008.

“Give me a break,” Mr. Clinton said in New Hampshire on the eve of that state's primary more than four years ago, when Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mr. Obama were in a tight race for the Democratic nomination. “This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen, ” he said of Mr. Obama's position on the Iraq war.

Mr. Clinton's words drew immediate criticism from Democrats, especially African-Americans.

The ad notes that Mr. Clinton is sounding a different tune today, though it casts him as “a good soldier, helping his party's president” after being called upon to support a “failing campaign.”

The narrator then recites recent unemployment figures and says that the middle class is falling “further behind” before the “Give me a break” clip rolls a second time.

The Romney camp has spoken well of Mr. Clinton's presidency. Stumping in Iowa on Wednesday, Representative Paul D. Ryan, the vice-presidential nominee, noted Mr. Clinton's economic successes and said that Mr. Romney would save the welfare reforms that the 42nd president enacted.

The Romney campaign declined to provide any details about where the ad was running, its standard practice, and the Obama campa ign did not offer an immediate response. But after Mr. Clinton's 48-minute convention speech, one thing is clearly better off than it was four years ago: the Clinton-Obama relationship.