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New RNC Web videos push Obama-Carter parallels

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The second video draws a more direct comparison to former President Carter, using the famous "malaise" speech, along with other Carter appearances, as the backdrop to figures about the Obama economy.

"Are you better off?" on-screen text asks, before declaring "Obama isn't working."

"The only two incumbent presidents who could not tell Americans that they are better off than they were when they took office are Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. "Gas prices are through the roof, our trade deficit is too high, spending is out of control, and unemployment is at record high levels. President Carter was right — 'we are at a turning point in our history.'"

Carter plans to address the Democratic convention Tuesday via video.

The Obama campaign on Tuesday looked to turn the attack back on Republicans, suggesting the Carter comparisons were further evidence Republican messaging was out-of-date. This weekend, President Obama suggested at a campaign stop in Iowa that the Republican National Convention was something that might have been seen on "black-and-white TV."

“The GOP may want to wax nostalgic about the 1970’s, but Americans don’t have to go back very far to see what Mitt Romney’s policies would do the economy," said Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith. "That’s because he’d give budget-busting tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and let Wall Street write its own rules again. We know that’s not a recipe for success- it’s the same formula that devastated the middle class and crashed the economy in the first place.” 

The push by the GOP was prompted partially by a statement this weekend by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a top Obama surrogate, who was asked by CBS host Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” if he could “honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago.”

"No,” replied O’Malley, a prominent Obama surrogate, “but that’s not the question of this election. ... Without a doubt, we are not as well-off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses."

The Romney campaign has seized on the comment in recent days, with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan frequently referencing it on the campaign trail. The videos cut Tuesday by the RNC continue that attack.


This post was updated at 2:57 p.m.