By Geneva Sands - 07/25/12 12:05 PM EDT
The ad, titled "Romney's Gold," is timed to coincide with the GOP hopeful's trip to the 2012 Olympics in London and features Romney's appearance at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
“If shafting the middle class were an Olympic sport, Mitt Romney would win the gold,” said senior adviser for Priorities USA Action Paul Begala in a statement. “We all cheer for Team America on the field of play, but Romney has put foreign investment ahead of American jobs. In the global economic competition for jobs, Mitt Romney is not on our side.”
The ad will run during the Olympics in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia and is part of the group's $20 million campaign against the presumptive GOP nominee.
Romney, who managed the Salt Lake City Games, begins his extended foreign travel this week, starting in England, where he will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron and attend the opening ceremonies. He will also visit Israel and Poland on his trip.
His campaign criticized the new ad, and noted that Romney turned around the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.
“When Mitt Romney was working to turn around the Olympics, Barack Obama was voting ‘present’ in the Illinois State Senate. President Obama does not have a record to run to run on, so his liberal allies are resorting to false attacks in an effort to distract voters. President Obama’s record of broken promises and failed policies can’t match Mitt Romney’s record of creating jobs and rescuing troubled enterprises," said Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg in a statement response to the ad.
Obama's campaign has been attacking Romney on two fronts, accusing him of hiding details about his personal wealth as well as outsourcing jobs as the CEO of the private-equity firm Bain Capital.
The Republican contender's personal finances came under greater scrutiny after a Vanity Fair report earlier this month said Romney used offshore transactions and accounts to hold assets and possibly gain tax benefits.
Democrats have pressured Romney to release additional tax records, but he has so far declined, insisting that there's "nothing hidden." Romney has released records from 2010 and an estimate of his taxes for 2011.
"I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," said Romney in a radio interview in July. "That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there."
Earlier this month, at the height of the Bain attacks, Romney demanded an apology from Obama for claims that the former CEO misled the public over his tenure at Bain Capital.
Romney said he left Bain in 1999 to run the Olympics, but reports
surfaced that he maintained the title of president and CEO, according to
“There’s nothing wrong with being associated with Bain Capital, of course,” Romney told CNN earlier this month. “But I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after 1999.”
Obama has said attacks against Bain are fair because Romney uses his business experience to enhance his candidacy.
Leading the private-equity firm "doesn't necessarily make you qualified
to think about the economy as a whole, because as president my job is to
think about the workers; my job is to think about communities where
jobs have been outsourced," Obama said in a CBS interview earlier this
Despite repeated attacks against his tenure at Bain, a strong majority of Americans say Romney’s background in the private sector would help him make the right decisions on the economy.
According to a USA Today-Gallup poll released Tuesday, 63 percent viewed Romney’s business background as a strength in handling the country’s economic woes, versus 29 percent who viewed it negatively.
— Jonathan Easley and Cameron Joseph contributed.
— This story was updated at 10:45 a.m.