The HillTube

Team Obama releases tongue-in-cheek video taking Romney out of context

President Obama's campaign released a new web video Thursday comprised of entirely out-of-context clips of opponent Mitt Romney, intended, they say, to illustrate that Romney's attack on Obama's "redistribution" comment was unfair.

On Wednesday night NBC News posted extended audio of Obama's remarks at a 1998 academic conference, during which he said that he "believes[s] in redistribution." But the following sentence shows Obama arguing the importance of competition and the marketplace for government services.

ADVERTISEMENT
"In a desperate attempt to distract Americans from another disastrous week for Mitt Romney, his campaign has once again flagrantly taken the president's statements out of context to make a point that simply doesn't exist," said Obama deputy press secretary Adam Fetcher in a statement. "After falsely accusing the president of wanting to redistribute wealth when he was actually talking about reforming government and making it more effective, it’s now come to light that they selectively removed additional context from the 14-year-old remarks in which then-Senator Obama stressed the need for competition, innovation and a strong marketplace in expanding opportunity for all Americans."

The Web video from the Obama campaign opens with on-screen text defining "context" as "the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning."

Video then transitions into repeatedly quoting Romney out of context to illustrate the point. Video selectively edited shows Romney saying that "America's role as a leader in the world is a thing of the past," praising the president's healthcare legislation as constitutional, and advocating for Obama's reelection.

"He's your guy. If you're looking for more freedom, more opportunity, good jobs, rising incomes, a bright future for your kids, then you better vote for the other guy," Romney says in the cobbled together video.

"Thanks, Mitt, for teaching us about context," the ad concludes.

The Romney campaign also has complained of selective editing in regard to a portion of the video surreptitiously recorded at a Florida closed-door fundraiser earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the Romney campaign issued a press release criticizing the Obama campaign for "level[ing] false attacks against Mitt Romney based on a debunked and selectively edited video."

The Romney campaign was referring to initial clips provided by Mother Jones magazine that suggested Romney would walk away from the Middle East peace process; in the extended clip, Romney said he believed peace to be theoretically possible.