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Obama commercial hits Romney on income taxes

The ad looks to drag Romney's personal wealth and income taxes back into the national spotlight. The Obama campaign has sought to use Romney's tax rate to make the case for allowing the Bush-era rates on high-income to expire.

But the Romney campaign Friday dismissed the ad as "pathetic and misleading" and accused the president of trying to distract voters.

The commercial seizes on a "60 Minutes" interview in September where Romney is asked about his effective tax rate.

In the 30-second spot, CBS News anchor Scott Pelley asks Romney if it is "fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did" that he paid 14 percent in federal income taxes on $20 million in investment income in 2011.

As the question is asked, the commercial stays on a clip of Romney as on-screen text floats with the "14 percent tax rate" figure.

Romney is then showed saying, "Yeah, I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth."

A narrator then asks, "lower tax rates for him than us — is that the way to grow America?"

Romney's effective tax rate has been low due to his large charitable contributions and the exemptions that shield investment income from ordinary income taxes. Romney has repeatedly emphasized that he has paid all the income taxes required under U.S. law, and said his tax plan would lower rates for middle-class families.

But the Obama campaign said in a statement that "Romney believes multimillionaires like himself should pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class families because he thinks it will promote economic growth."

"But Romney is wrong — as middle-class families learned the hard way, tax breaks for millionaires and tax hikes on the middle-class leads to endless deficits, not economic growth," the statement said.

Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said Team Obama has simply run out of ideas.

"The Obama campaign’s latest pathetic and misleading ad confirms that they have no positive record to run on and are out of ideas as election day approaches," Henneberg said. "Americans deserve more from their president than the same kind of political games he once promised to end. We can’t afford four more years like the last four years. Mitt Romney is offering a clear choice in this election — ideas and solutions to strengthen America at home and abroad and a plan to deliver the real recovery our country needs.”

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