GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign released what it called a TV commercial on Saturday morning hitting President Barack Obama for an offhand comment he made about "revenge" on the campaign trail yesterday.
It's likely that the video is a head fake by the Romney campaign, meaning it don't intend to air the commercial on television, but hoped by calling it a TV commercial that it would get news coverage. The intent appears to make Obama look mean-spirited.
Obama's comment was apropos of nothing, essentially. Here is the transcript of the paragraphs before and after the comment, from his speech in Springfield, Ohio on Friday.
For eight years, we had a President who shared these beliefs -- a guy named Bill Clinton. (Applause.) And so our beliefs were put to the test. His economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we could continue to invest in our people, continue to invest in ideas and innovation, invest in our infrastructure. And at the time the Republican Congress and a Senate candidate by the name of Mitt Romney --
AUDIENCE: Booo --
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no -- don’t boo, vote. (Applause.) Vote! Voting is the best revenge.
But at the time Mitt Romney said Bill Clinton’s plan would hurt the economy and kill jobs, it turns out his math back then was just as bad as it is today. (Applause.) Because by the end of President Clinton’s second term, America had created 23 million new jobs, and incomes were up and poverty was down, and our deficit became the biggest surplus in history. So our ideas were tried and tested, and they worked. Their ideas were also tried, and they didn’t work out so well.
Romney's commercial shows him referencing Obama's remark at his rally on Friday night outside Cincinnati.
“Did you see what President Obama said today? He asked his supporters to vote for revenge—for revenge," Romney said. "Instead, I ask the American people to vote for love of country."
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked about the "revenge" comment on Air Force One Saturday morning as the president flew from Washington to Ohio. This is what she said, according to the transcript:
"Well, it’s important to remember that the context of when the President said that was as he was laying out the fact that Mitt Romney is closing his campaign with an ad full of scare tactics that's frightening workers in Ohio and thinking falsely that they’re not going to have a job. And the message he was sending is, if you don't like the policies, if you don't like the plan that Governor Romney is putting forward, if you think it’s a bad deal for the middle class, then you have power -- you can go to the voting booths and you can cast your ballot. It’s nothing more complicated than that."