Who knew the Democratic National Committee had so much in common with Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry? A new anti-Mitt Romney web and TV campaign from the DNC employs some of the same exact footage and quotes from Romney as do earlier ads from the Perry camp.
"I don't think that I've ever hired an illegal in my life," states Romney in the new DNC web spot, a four-minute video laundry list of issues the party claims Romney has changed his mind about over the years. "We hired a lawn company to mow our lawn and they had illegal immigrants who were working there," continues Romney. The footage is from a recent GOP presidential debate.
Perry includes the very same footage in a video posted to YouTube on October 19. The "Misleading" video is standard TV spot length and focuses on the immigration issue, as well as healthcare reform, a topic that has dogged Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. While governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a healthcare law that is considered a precursor to President Obama's healthcare reform law.
The DNC's anti-Romney effort, as well as recent videos from pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA, suggest that despite poll surges from GOP candidates including Herman Cain and more recently Newt Gingrich, Democrats expect Romney to be crowned the Republican nominee.
Branding Romney as a candidate with weak convictions, and building up web content supporting that message will help establish the "Romney as flip-flopper" narrative, one that could be key in the general election if Romney indeed gets the nomination. Also, since Romney is considered by many to be the most formidable potential opponent in the general, Democrats would like to help limit his chances of winning in the primaries.
But, as is typically the case, these videos and accompanying websites are intended to build supporter lists that can be used to generate donations as the campaigns drag on.
The DNC video, released two days ago, is coupled with a TV spot and anti-Romney website that takes aim at his alleged lack of consistency on an array of issues including abortion, the auto industry bailout, taxes, assault weapons, and climate change. MittVMitt.com is promoted in the video and television ad; a form on the site states, "Sign up to hold Mitt accountable," and links to a DNC donation page that also pushes sales of "Which Mitt?" mugs.
People who sign up are greeted with a subsequent email that promises, "You'll be first to know every time Mitt flips or flops so you can spread the truth about his character." The email encourages supporters to share a link to the MittvMitt site with friends.
The DNC also uses the same Romney footage as a November 3 video from the Perry camp in which Romney calls TARP - the Troubled Asset Relief Program which provided bailouts for banks and automakers - "the right thing to do." The new DNC video employs the same exact footage, coupled with Romney indicating a change of heart by noting, "TARP ought to be ended."
The DNC video has garnered far more views than the aforementioned Perry videos. For instance, though Perry's "Misleading" spot was posted over a month before the DNC video, it has fewer than half the number of views as MittVMitt - around 62,500 compared to more than 153,500.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT