The newest ad from the Obama campaign once again features President Obama speaking direct-to-camera and will air in six battleground states—Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada:
Those ads taking my words about small business out of context - they’re flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses. Every day, hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run. And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has, by investing in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology. I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message because I believe we’re all in this together.
Romneyland will no doubt be thrilled to see the president engaging in the absurd "build that" attack that they launched last week, but their joy will be misplaced. Yes, this ad lets them talk about something other than the the tax return and Bain controversies that have roiled Romney's campaign for the past few weeks, but those aren't going to go away. And yes, this ad is a response ad, and typically that means a candidate on defense.
But unlike most candidates, President Obama is generally more comfortable on defense than offense, and even though his decision to play rope-a-dope does appear to give Romney control of the debate, his message here is consistent with his core economic argument: that to build a strong economy, we need to work together to make investments in America, and that while we are all individuals, we are also united by a common interest.
Moreover, beyond the message, by focusing attention on Romney's egregious lie (even the AP is now challenging Romney's honesty) and by being willing to deliver his message himself, in his own words, Obama is reassuring voters that his voice is the credible one in this campaign—and that they shouldn't trust Romney and his allies. With hundreds of millions of dollars in attack ads yet to air, it's important to have the upper hand when it comes to trust, and this ad helps Obama establish that.