Romney camp targets auto bailout in new TV ad

The ad takes direct aim at President Obama's claim that the 2009 federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, begun under former President Bush and continued under the Obama administration, was a success.

Romney's 30-second ad zeroes in on an Ohio auto dealership employee named Al Zarzour who lost his job when, according to the video's account, "In 2009, under the Obama administration’s bailout of General Motors, Ohio dealerships were forced to close.”

"You know, it was like the dream that we worked for, and that we worked so hard for, was gone," Zarzour says in the video.

Obama has touted the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler as a success and a sign of economic recovery during his first term. He has also used the subject to knock Romney over his opposition to the federal bailout, accusing the presumptive GOP nominee of wanting to see "Detroit go bankrupt" and calling the federal intervention into the failing companies "the right thing to do" in a campaign television commercial released in May.

Romney has said that the struggling GM and Chrysler car companies needed to go through a "managed bankruptcy" process and that that is exactly what they eventually did. 

Romney is trying to tie Obama to job losses in the new TV ad, but in May Obama told ABC News that following Romney's advice in 2009 would have resulted in GM and Chrysler going under, "and we would have lost probably a million jobs throughout the Midwest."

The Obama campaign fired back on Romney's new ad from Ohio, where regional spokesman Frank Benenati blasted Romney for trying to "deceive Ohioans" about Romney's position on the bailout.

"Let’s get this straight - the very person who argued for the US auto industry to go bankrupt, something that would have caused more than a million jobs lost and utter economic devastation in the midwest, is now trying to attack the President on how it was handled?" Benenati demanded in a statement. "This ad in Ohio is a new low for the Romney campaign, and instead of trying to deceive Ohioans they should get their facts straight because there are now 2,200 more Ohioans employed in dealerships than when the President took office. While the President was busy saving the US auto industry – which has 1 in 8 Ohio jobs tied to it – Mitt Romney was busy arguing that we should turn our backs on an iconic industry and the workers in Ohio. The Romney campaign will say anything in this election, and this ad is proof positive of that."

Updated at 11:06 a.m.