Gloves Come Off for Presidential Campaign Ads

The Obama and Romney campaigns air harsh videos and ads as Election Day approaches.

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With less than a month to go before Election Day, the campaigns of President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are getting up close and personal as they escalate their attacks and try to undermine the credibility of the other side. Even though the first debate last week between Obama and Romney was generally polite, the advertising of each side is increasingly harsh and disdainful.

The Obama campaign released new Web video called "Cameras" arguing that:

Whether he was talking about taxes, health care, or almost anything else, Mitt Romney didn't tell the truth in the first presidential debate. He denied the very existence of his $5 trillion tax plan weighted toward the wealthy and made dishonest statements about his plan for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Maybe that's because his real plans would mean devastating consequences for the middle class, like raising taxes on them in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. With so much at stake, America needs a president with character, not a politician who just plays one.

Another Obama ad, titled "Dishonest," says Romney showed "shocking dishonesty" in the debate by denying that he has supported that plan for $5 trillion in tax cuts, mostly for the rich.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Romney's campaign released its own television ad, titled "$5 Trillion," in which the narrator says Obama is "not telling the truth about Mitt Romney's tax plan." The ad argues that it is Obama who has the unwise plan, which the commercial says would "impose a $4,000 tax increase on the middle class and is one more reason we can't afford four more years of his failed policies."

Romney's supporters argue that Obama is trying to attack the GOP candidate in order to divert attention from his lack of success in healing the economy and creating prosperity.

Two more presidential debates are scheduled for later this month, and there is a debate between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, on Thursday evening. Even if the tone of these one-on-one encounters remains cordial, the TV ads will not, according to campaign advisers for both Obama and Romney. Each side is blanketing eight to 10 battleground states with negative commercials.

Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at, and on Facebook and Twitter