Forty-one days before Election Day, President Barack Obama made what sounded a lot like his closing arguments for a second term in a new two-minute television ad in which he criticizes Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and calls for "a new economic patriotism."
"If I could sit down with you, in your living room or around the kitchen table, here's what I'd say," Obama, dressed a bit formally for most kitchen-table conversations, says directly to the camera.
The president defends his record on the economy, saying, "As a nation we are moving forward again," while acknowledging that "we have much more to do to get folks back to work and make the middle class secure again."
"It's time for a new economic patriotism, rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class. Read my plan. Compare it to Governor Romney's and decide for yourself," Obama says. (The plan includes calls to boost investments in education and domestic energy production, efforts to recover lost manufacturing jobs, and reducing the deficit.)
The president's campaign said the ad would run in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.
Of note: While the ad focuses on the economy, including the outlines of Obama's blueprint for boosting job creation, it also notes that the United States was "mired in Iraq" when he took office and that he has put the country on a path to be mostly out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
It also recycles his core attack on Romney, accusing him of wanting "even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer regulations on Wall Street. In other words, he'd double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place," Obama says.
The ad drew a quick response from the Romney campaign.
"Four years ago, Barack Obama called it 'unpatriotic' to run up debts our children will have to pay. Yet in the time it takes his latest ad to run, our national debt grows by at least another $5 million," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
"With $16 trillion in debt, 23 million Americans struggling for work and spending out of control, President Obama's record is clear: We can't afford another four years that look like the last four years," Saul said. "Mitt Romney will strengthen the middle class, create 12 million new jobs and deliver what President Obama hasn't—a real recovery."