Commentary Magazine


Romney’s Psych Out Ad

Mitt Romney’s latest attack ad against President Obama (the first negative spot of the campaign, as Jim Geraghty points out) sends two messages. On the surface it’s a cut-and-dry ad criticizing Obama as out of touch on the economy, but there’s another message that seems aimed at psyching out the Obama campaign. See if you can catch it:

Look familiar? As the Huffington Post reports, Romney’s ad is a mirror image of one of Obama’s most effective attack ads against John McCain in 2008. Same music. Same format. Same kicker: “How can [he] expect to fix it…if he doesn’t understand what’s broken?” Take a look:

McCain’s “fundamentals of the economy are strong” gaffe helped kill him in 2008, and the Obama campaign hit him relentlessly on it. By putting out a nearly identical ad, the Romney campaign seems to be sending the message that it has learned the lessons of the last election and is not going to pull any punches this time around.