Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began a new ad campaign on Monday designed to rescue his flailing campaign by offering more specifics on the economy.
The major shift in strategy so close to the November 6 election underscores the heightened sense of urgency Romney and his supporters are beginning to feel as various polls show President Barack Obama pulling ahead in nearly all of the critical swing states such as Florida, Virginia and Ohio.
So much so that Romney has come under increasing fire from fellow conservatives for having run a campaign devoid of his own specific ideas.
He’s hoping the new approach that highlights his ideas to revive the economy, create jobs and reduce the nation’s long-term debt will be enough to make his case as to why should be the nation’s next president.
In one ad that does not specifically mention President Obama, Romney promises a stronger middle class by improving foreign trade with a “crackdown on cheaters like China” and cutting the federal deficit.
“You’ve got to stop spending more money than we take in,” Romney says in the ad, according to the New York Times.
In the ad, called “The Romney Plan,” the GOP standard bearer also pledges to create 12 million new jobs with a focus on small business.
A second ad is tougher on the president, accusing his administration of failing American families by allowing the nation’s debt to skyrocket. In the ad, Romney says that the country has “a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.”
The ads will come as a welcome change to Republicans seeking to give undecided voters a clearer reason as to why they should vote for Romney, as opposed to simply just reasons not to support President Obama.
The core message of the Romney campaign had previously centered on President Obama’s alleged poor handling of the economy and how the country would have been far better served with a chief executive with a previous business background.
GOP strategists believe the Romney campaign must offer voters more specific explanation about how things will change if their candidate wins the White House.
Romney will continue focusing on that message during a speech today to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in Los Angeles. According to excerpts released by the campaign, Romney plans to echo his new ads by pledging to balance the federal budget, shift spending responsibility to the states and reduce federal employment by 10 percent through attrition.
“These things combined will reduce spending by $500 billion a year by the end of my first term,” Romney is expected to say, according to the excerpts.
The Obama wasted no time attacking their Republican rival’s new mantra, offering a sarcastic video in anticipation of Romney’s speech to the Hispanic group.
The video, which is titled “Mitt Romney: Extreme Makeover Latin Edition,” suggests that the Republican candidate is trying to paper over his “extreme” views about immigration with more moderate rhetoric.
“Mitt Romney is faced with one of his most implausible makeovers yet,” the video says. “Making his extreme policies seem appealing to Latino voters.”