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Ironies Abound In New Romney Ad

In a new anti-Obama ad, Mitt Romney's campaign has struck a mother lode of delicious ironies.

The all-but-official presidential candidate's ad pushes back against the criticisms of his job-creation record as head of Bain Capital, the private equity firm.

The ad features video from 2008 of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton blasting Obama, at the time her fellow senator and rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. Her complaint: that Obama's campaign was spreading alleged mistruths about her.

As Politico's Ken Vogel pointed out on Twitter, an angry-looking Clinton said, "So shame on you, Barack Obama" back in 2008 during an availability with journalists after a campaign event. She was upset in part about a mailer Obama's campaign had sent out saying her health plan would force people to buy insurance even if they couldn't afford it. How's that for timing?

Meanwhile, the ad's use of Clinton as a witness against Obama may not be the most persuasive tactic for many who have spent the last three-plus years watching her travel the world as the nation's secretary of state and a key part of Obama's foreign policy and national security team.

The Romney ad also relies on some fact-checking done by the Washington Post. The ad cites a piece by Glenn Kessler about an Obama ad that accused Romney of being a "corporate raider," among other things. As Kessler put it, "On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue."

Of course, that would be the same news outlet the Romney campaign has spent much of the past week arguing with. The point of contention: a story that Romney presided over the outsourcing or offshoring of U.S. jobs during his time at Bain Capital. Romney campaign officials, declaring the story to be wrong, asked for a retraction. The Post refused.

Since Clinton and the Post aren't two names that generally have much credibility with conservatives, the latest Romney ad is clearly aimed at someone else — likely independents and Reagan Democrats for whom those names might be more likely to resonate.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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