The conventional wisdom says it’s a mistake for President Obama’s re-election campaign and its allies to criticize Mitt Romney’s controversial private-sector background. In recent weeks, Republicans have said it showed hostility towards capitalism; some high-profile Democrats have balked; the many in the media have predicted a public backlash. The entire line of attack is a dud.
Except, there’s some evidence that actual voters aren’t responding the way they’ve been told to respond. On the contrary, though the criticisms have been “panned up and down the Acela Corridor,” they appear to be working elsewhere.
With that in mind, Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC, has launched this new spot.
The ad features Donnie Box, who lost his job of 32 years at Kansas City’s GST Steel after Romney’s firm took it over. “Romney and Bain Capital shut this place down,” Box says in the commercial, standing outside a shuttered factory where he used to work. “They shut down entire livelihoods. They promised us healthcare package, they promised us maintain our retirement program, and those were the first two things to disappear. This was a booming place. And Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard. Just making money and leaving.”
If Box seems familiar, it may be because we’ve seen him before – in January, he was also featured in an ad from MoveOn.org.
Remember, if the conventional wisdom is right, Priorities USA Action is wasting its money, focusing on a part of Romney’s record that voters don’t care about. But given this super PAC’s limited resources, I suspect the group has reason to believe ads like these will resonate, even if the political establishment assumes they won’t.
This new spot is part of a $7 million ad buy, and it will air in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.