Obama Ad Knocks Romney for Outsourcing Jobs, Swiss Bank Account

BY Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij  May 1, 2012 at 9:26 AM EDT

President Obama; photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool-Getty Images

President Obama speaks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images.

The Morning Line

This May Day marks President Obama’s first television attack ad aimed squarely at Mitt Romney.

The ad first criticizes an Americans for Prosperity television spot running against the president, calling the group a “Romney Super PAC” and noting that its commercial was labeled as “over the top” by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

It then pivots to a slam against Romney, the presumed GOP nominee, with a narrator intoning:

“As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs to places like Mexico and China. As governor, he outsourced state jobs to a call center in India. He’s still pushing tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. It’s just what you’d expect from a guy who had a Swiss bank account.”

The Obama campaign said that the commercial will be a “significant” buy that will air in Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

Watch the ad here or below.

The Romney campaign called the ad “desperate,” and said the American people “deserve better.”

“With the worst job creation record in modern history and the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, President Obama is trying to distract Americans from the real issues with a series of sideshows,” spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement about two hours after the ad was released. “Unable to defend his failed record of 23 million Americans struggling for work, wasteful boondoggles like Solyndra, skyrocketing national debt, and unacceptably high energy prices, President Obama has once again resorted to attacking Mitt Romney.”

BIN LADEN POLITICS

The move by the Obama campaign to highlight the president’s decision to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and question whether Romney would have done the same has spawned a political debate in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of the event.

In an appearance on Tuesday’s “CBS This Morning,” Romney said the president “has every right to take credit” for ordering the mission.

Romney added: “At the same time, I think it was very disappointing for the president to try and make this a political item by suggesting that I wouldn’t have ordered such a raid. Of course I would have. Any American — any thinking American — would have ordered exactly the same thing. But of course you give the president the credit for the fact that he did so.”

The Obama re-election team released a web video Friday that suggested the former Massachusetts governor might not have made the same call as the president.

Romney responded to the charge Monday following a campaign event in New Hampshire. “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” he said.

During a joint White House press conference with the prime minister of Japan, President Obama was asked about Romney’s comment and whether his campaign was politicizing the killing of bin Laden. “I hardly think that you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here,” Mr. Obama said.

“As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden,” the president added. That appeared to be a reference to comments Romney made in 2007 criticizing Mr. Obama for vowing to strike al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan.

“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. That’s been at least my practice. I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,” the president said. “If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson has more on how the president’s re-election campaign is using the death of bin Laden, and the criticism the move has drawn.

Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told NBC’s Brian Williams he worries “a great deal” that the bin Laden raid will get “spun into election politics.”

Mullen’s comments were part of an exclusive interview for “Inside the Situation Room,” a special edition of “Rock Center with Brian Williams” airing Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

The excerpt below aired Monday night on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams”:

ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN (RET.): Well, I worry about it, just because it’s the political season. And from my perspective, the president’s support, the decision that he made, and obviously, the result stand alone in terms of the kind of call presidents have to make and he made it. I do worry a great deal that this time of year that somehow this gets spun into election politics. I can assure you that those individuals who risk their lives– the last thing in the world that they want is to be spun into that. So I’m hoping that that doesn’t happen.

You can find more info about the special here.

Talking Points Memo’s Eric Lach notes the date marks another anniversary: media FOIA requests regarding photos of the slain bin Laden. Several news outlets are considering their options, Lach writes.

WISCONSIN RECALL

Ray Suarez spoke with Frederica Freyberg of Wisconsin Public Television about the recall election that GOP Gov. Scott Walker is facing in June and the Democratic primary being held next Tuesday to select his challenger.

In the Democratic race between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, Freyberg said tensions were high, but indicated the eventual winner would be able to consolidate party support:

[T]here is kind of this family feud amongst the candidates right now. And the fear there, of course, is that if you pit one candidate against another, it doesn’t do much for the eventual front-runner running against the incumbent.

On the other hand, at least one of the unions, the state’s largest teachers union, who was first out of the chutes to endorse Kathleen Falk, has said that they will endorse and back whoever emerges out of this primary.

Walker’s campaign said Monday that he has raised more than $13 million from mid-January through last week. Since Jan. 1, 2011, the governor has raised more than $25 million. Freyberg called that “quite a staggering number.”

Watch the segment here or below.

(Here’s Freyberg’s piece about the recall from last fall.)

It’s not just Walker on the line next month; the lieutenant governor is also up for a recall. A local fire fighter is running to replace him, and the national union launched an ad Monday on his behalf.

2012 LINE ITEMS

  • The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen looks at the Obama campaign’s use of first dog Bo as part of its effort to target pet lovers.

  • The Morning Line got an early look at a “State of the Union” poll out Tuesday commissioned by the Service Employees International Union and Daily Kos. It found Mr. Obama leading Romney, 49 percent to 44 percent. The president’s largest demographic lead was among voters ages 18 to 29, who prefer him 51 percent to 39 percent. Among labor union members, Mr. Obama topped Romney, 57-31, with 12 percent of that group undecided in the presidential contest. Romney led Obama, 48-44, in the West and 48-47 in the South. The president led in the Northeast and Midwest. The 1,000-voter national survey was conducted via telephone by the left-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling.

  • Romney told Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning” that “If I do this right,” no one will know anything about his running mate until he makes the announcement.

  • The Supreme Court could examine Citizens United again, before the election.

  • In this week’s Political Checklist, Christina talked with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff about the electoral map and the bin Laden issue. Watch that here.

  • Talking Points Memo made a slideshow of Vice President Joe Biden over the years.

TOP TWEETS

OUTSIDE THE LINES

  • Roll Call’s Shira Toeplitz writes Sen. Dick Lugar’s political obituary and says even if he prevails in Tuesday’s GOP primary, the Hoosier has lost.

  • Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Monday that he had been cleared of insider trading charges by a congressional ethics panel.

  • The NewsHour’s Meena Ganesan and Alex Bruns attended the Sunlight Foundation’s Transparency Camp over the weekend. Here is their report, which focuses on the international attendees aiming to open their governments.

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a new web video out Tuesday focusing on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

  • Florida’s new congressional map won pre-clearance Monday, and Democrats are not happy with the new lines.

  • Betty White stars in an ad for Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., who is locked in a tough redistricting-fueled primary with Rep. Brad Sherman.

  • The Hill’s Bob Cusack and Molly Hooper round up the congressional Democrats who are thorns in the president’s side.

  • D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton suggests a way to avoid Secret Service sex scandals: more female agents.

  • Nevada Democrats, who successfully used a (ahem) fowl stunt to tarnish Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden in 2010, penned a mocking fundraising email Monday from “the Famous Nevada Dems Chicken.” It reads, in part: “[T[he Nevada GOP needs our help. They’re having some money troubles (I’ve told them my friend Big Blue Donkey could help, but they seemed angry by that idea) and they can’t seem to put enough nickels and dimes together to fly their guest of honor — Medicare-as-we-know-it-ending House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan — to the convention this week.”

  • The Associated Press reports that the Texas attorney general has appealed a federal judge’s order stopping the state from banning Planned Parenthood clinics from a women’s health program.

  • An official resigned from the Environmental Protection Agency after making an off-the-cuff remark.

  • The liberal magazine American Prospect may shut its doors later this month.

ON THE TRAIL

All events are listed in Eastern Time.

  • President Obama attends meetings at the White House.

  • First lady Michelle Obama attends fundraisers in Las Vegas at 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. and in Albuquerque, N.M., at 4:30 p.m.

  • Mitt Romney holds a private fundraiser in Philadelphia at 6 p.m.

  • Ron Paul holds a private fundraiser in Hawthorne, Calif., at 10 p.m.

All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:


For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz and @indiefilmfan.