Ahead of debate, Romney targets Obama in new web ad

Holly Bailey

Mitt Romney will face his GOP rivals for the first time tonight as the party's 2012 hopefuls gather for their first debate in New Hampshire. But it's President Obama that Romney is targeting in a new web video released ahead of his inaugural debate appearance.

The dramatic two-minute spot, which seems to take a few stylistic cues from Tim Pawlenty's action film trailer-inspired ads, slams President Obama's recent characterization of last month's jobless numbers as a "bumps on the road" to the nation's economic recovery.

Set in the desert, the ad features several Romney supporters repeating, "I am an American, not a bump in the road."

You can watch the video after the jump, courtesy the Romney campaign:

With Romney sitting atop most early 2012 GOP polls, the campaign's video is a hint at the candidate's larger strategy to act the part of the frontrunner--rising above the GOP fray and focusing almost exclusively on Obama.

However, tonight's debate is sure to test that strategy, as Romney's GOP rivals will likely take aim at the ex-governor over everything from the controversial health care law he passed in Massachusetts to his moderate stances on issues such as climate change.

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll out today finds Romney leading his GOP rivals, with 24 percent support among likely GOP voters. But Sarah Palin isn't far behind, with 20 percent support in the poll--a seven-point gain since last month.

(Screenshot of Romney ad via YouTube)