Mitt Romney's campaign released a blistering new Web ad Wednesday claiming Democrats had tried to sway the results of the Michigan primary and failed.
The commercial is filmed from the perspective of an Obama campaign official frustrated over Romney's win in the Arizona and Michigan primaries. As a television on a desk shows a montage of news outlets calling the primaries for Romney, the "staffer" is shown emailing colleagues with concern.
The point-of-view shot then shows the staffer pulling up articles — on expensive Apple Iphones and computers, a subtle and no doubt intended framing — about a pro-Obama super-PAC spending money on commercials in Michigan, and autoworkers rallying to protest Romney's candidacy.
"Time to step it up in Ohio," one "Obama team" email reads.
"Time to take the ‘Kill Romney’ strategy to the next level," reads another.
On-screen text then proclaims that "the Obama Attack Machine is ready," and implores supporters to donate to Romney's campaign.
On Tuesday, Romney had accused Democrats of planning to vote in Michigan's open primary to tip the race towards Rick Santorum.
The Democratic blog Daily Kos earlier in February urged readers to vote for Santorum in order to help drag out the GOP primary and strengthen Obama's reelection chances.
On Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) denied the DNC encouraged Democrats to vote in the GOP primary. "We weren't involved in any organized efforts to get voters to do that," she said on Fox.
With his Michigan victory secure and his candidacy increasingly likely, Romney seems determined to focus his efforts on attacking President Obama and growing the donor base of his campaign, which has struggled to build an expansive grassroots base. Instead, Romney has mostly leaned on large donors.
Evidence of the pivot was apparent Tuesday, with the campaign issuing a sharp rebuke to Obama’s speech to autoworkers.
“The last thing President Obama wants to do is run against Mitt Romney — and that is why he and his political machine continue their deceptive attacks to ‘kill Romney,’ ” said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg in a statement. “President Obama has failed Michigan.”
Romney also made a direct appeal to supporters in his victory speech Wednesday night, a signal that the bruising and expensive campaign has started to have an impact on the campaign's bottom line. In January, Romney spent $12.2 million more than he took in, despite his super-PAC spending an additional $7 million. That spending likely intensified as he sought to hold on in the tough-fought Michigan primary.
“I need your support. I am asking for you to get out and vote," Romney said. "And I’m asking for you by the way to go on MittRomney.com and pledge your support in every way possible."