That now infamous photo of Mitt Romney and his colleagues at Bain Capital in 1985 celebrating the closing of their first fund with money coming out of their pockets is the only visual in a new 30-second television ad from a super PAC that supports the re-election of President Barack Obama.
Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama group, is releasing a new television and online ad campaign today, and Yahoo News has an exclusive first look. The new ad marks the beginning of a multimillion-dollar effort over the course of the next several weeks to define Romney as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who profited from the demise of some companies in which he invested other people's money.
The ad, which tweaks the original image by superimposing a more modern-day image of Romney's head onto his body, is going up on television in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa, four critical battleground states in November.
The anti-Romney ad attempts to draw a direct line from the Republican candidate's past life in private equity to some of his policy proposals today that would result in significant tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
"Now, Romney's proposing a huge new $150,000 tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent while cutting Medicare and education for us," the ad's narrator says.
The ad concludes: "Mitt Romney. If he wins, we lose."
Governor Romney predicted that Democrats would put this Gordon Gekko-style image to use when he sat down for an interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" in December.
"I know that there is going to be every effort to put free enterprise on trial and to attack free enterprise, to attack people who work in free enterprise," Romney said.
The presumptive Republican nominee is all too familiar with this line of attack because Ted Kennedy put it to good use in his successful re-election bid against Romney in 1994.
"Governor Romney's made a fortune on the backs of the businesses he helped destroy," said Paul Begala, the Democratic strategist who leads Priorities USA Action. "He profited even while thousands of men and women were fired and lost benefits they were promised. Mitt Romney wants to double down on trickle down. The middle class can't afford his policies."
Romney successfully beat back a similar line of attack from Newt Gingrich earlier this year as many in the Republican establishment rallied to defend his tenure at Bain. He said at the time that he expected this attack from the Democrats and now he is getting precisely that.
Update, 1:42 p.m. ET: "It's not surprising that the liberal allies of the President with the worst job creation record in modern history would try to distract Americans from serious economic issues with a series of political stunts and sideshows," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told Yahoo News in response to the ad.
Full ad script:
He made millions off companies that went bankrupt while workers lost promised health and retirement benefits.
His own tax return from last year reveals he made $21 million, yet paid a lower tax rate than many middle-class families.
Now, Romney's proposing a huge new $150,000 tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent while cutting Medicare and education for us.
Mitt Romney. If he wins, we lose.
Priorities USA Action is responsible for the content of this advertising.
David Chalian is the Washington bureau chief for Yahoo News.
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