"I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message."
With that routine statement at the end of the Romney Campaign's first ad against President Obama, the candidate put his seal of approval on what was revealed to be a deceitful attempt to twist the words of his Democratic opponent.
What makes the incident more frustrating for conservatives is that Romney didn't have to diminish himself by taking the president out of context--Obama himself has provided a treasure trove of statements that would make great political ads. Why does his campaign need to make stuff up?
Romney's ad quotes Obama as saying, "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." While Obama said those words, right before it he said, "Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote..."
So Obama was quoting McCain. The Romney ad leaves the viewer with the false impression that Obama said he'll lose in 2012 if he talks about the economy.
ABC's Jake Tapper tweeted that the ad isn't just misleading. "It's TV-station-refuse-to-air-it-misleading."
Chances are Romney himself is not splicing together video in a dishonest way. But his stamp is on it, and so he deserves criticism. Mitt, this is the type of stuff conservatives expect from Jon Stewart and Media Matters. This is beneath your campaign.