New Democratic attack on Romney uses Leno, Conan, Reagan

Washington Bureau

Should Mitt Romney survive the Newtian Surge and fend off any other challenges from his rivals for the GOP nomination, a preview of what awaits him in the general election can be found in a new television ad crafted by the Democratic National Committee.

The line of attack is no surprise: The ad -- along with an accompanying website -- pounces of Romney’s history of shifting positions rightward as he has pursued the presidency.

The short spot “Trapped” is done in the style of a Hollywood teaser trailer, complete with a deep-tone voiceover, and mocks the former Massachusetts governor as “two men trapped in one body.” The ad points viewers to a website, which features a video that highlights what the DNC says is Romney’s flip-flops on abortion, the economic stimulus package, healthcare, global warming, assault weapons and even the legacy of Ronald Reagan. (Watch video below.)

The video also contains cameos by the likes of Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Reagan in 1984 famously saying, “There you go again.”


According to the DNC, the spot will run in six battleground markets: Washington-northern Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Milwaukee; Pittsburgh; and Albuquerque, N.M.

While the timing of the ad comes as Romney is struggling to secure his path to the GOP nomination, the placement of the spots suggests that Democrats are trying to soften Romney’s support in key areas should he end up squaring off against President Obama next year.

But the DNC also plans to hold media events in support of the campaign in the early primary states of Iowa. New Hampshire and Florida, perhaps signaling Democrats would like to deepen the mistrust some conservatives have of Romney and maybe tilt those contests toward another contender.

Romney’s campaign swiftly issued a response. 


“The last thing the White House wants is to have to run against Mitt Romney and be held accountable for the many failures of this administration,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “So, instead of focusing on the economy and creating jobs, President Obama and Democrats are focused on tearing down Mitt Romney.” 

Romney, of course, has other, more immediate concerns beyond the Democratic Party. The endorsement of Newt Gingrich Sunday by the influential Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire holds the potential of undermining Romney’s support in a state that weeks ago appeared to be certain to go his way.




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