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Sam Stein:
When it comes time to score Mitt Romney's first general election ad, the independent arbitrators will rank it as a "negative" spot.

The ad, released on Friday morning and set to air in key swing states, outlines the specific policies that Romney would pursue in the Oval Office, from lowering taxes to signing off on the Keystone pipeline. Discussing the spot while on the trail Thursday, Romney declared that, "it will be a positive ad about the things I would do if I were president."

But the ad also includes several sharp contrasts with the president. And because it mentions Obama by name, when it comes time for grading, it will not get the positive label Romney suggested.

As you can see above, the ad features upbeat music and tries hard—perhaps too hard—to sound as though it's being positive, but of the three core promises Romney makes for day one of his imaginary administration, two are clear attacks on President Obama: first on the Keystone XL pipeline (which Obama has not ruled out eventually approving) and second on Obamacare. The third pledge—lower taxes on the wealthy, who Romney calls "job creators"—isn't offered as a contrast, however, so you could grade that as a positive message. On the other hand, while promising to double down on the Bush tax cuts might not count as an attack ... it does qualify is pretty damn stupid. Maybe Romney should stick to the attacks. It worked for him during the primary.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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