President Obama’s campaign is blasting an ad Mitt Romney is running in New Hampshire as “a deceitful and dishonest attack.”
The Republican presidential candidate’s ad, timed for a visit by Obama to the state, uses a partial quote from Obama in 2008 that says “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”
In the full quote from 2008, it is clear that Obama is actually referring to something said by an adviser to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the GOP presidential candidate that year.
Democrats and Obama’s campaign said Romney’s new advertisement takes Obama’s quotation out of context and is dishonest.
“Just last week fact-checkers scolded Mitt Romney for distorting a comment the president made about creating American jobs, and now Romney launches a deceitful and dishonest attack rather than outline his own record or plans for the future,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Monday night in a statement.
Romney’s ad also sparked a blistering retort from Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse, who blasted out an email saying, "Mitt Romney is a serial deceiver — and his deceptions know no bounds.”
A press release from Romney touting his ad highlights Obama’s full quotation.
“Obama: 'Sen. McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." ' (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks, Londonderry, N.H., 10/16/08),” the citation in the Romney ad says.
In the same press release, Romney communications director Gail Gitcho said Obama was now doing what he criticized his opponent for doing in 2008.
“Three years ago, candidate Barack Obama mocked his opponent’s campaign for saying, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose,' " Gitcho said in the press release. “Now President Obama’s campaign is desperate not to talk about the economy. Their strategy is to wage a personal campaign — or ‘kill Romney.’ It is a campaign of distraction.”
Romney's campaign defended the quote choice as intentional later in the day.
"That was done intentionally," Gitcho said on a conference call with reporters, explaining that the campaign sought to contrast "Candidate Obama" with "President Obama."
"President Obama is doing exactly what Candidate Obama had criticized," she said.
Romney's ad was released on Monday and is set to air in New Hampshire on Tuesday, which coincides with a visit by Obama to the state.
-- Alicia M. Cohn contributed.
-- This story was updated at 3:26 p.m.