AdWatch: Clinton hits GOP tax cuts, deregulation

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By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Title: "Clear Choice"

Length: 30 seconds.

AIRING: In New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada.

KEY IMAGES: Former President Bill Clinton tells voters that there's a clear choice in the coming election. President Barack Obama is planning to enhance employment by investing in "innovation, education and job training," he says. Without mentioning Obama's GOP rival Mitt Romney by name, Clinton says that the Republican plan is to cut taxes for the wealthy and roll back regulations. "That's what got us in trouble in the first place," Clinton says.

Clinton concludes by saying that rebuilding America only works if there is a strong middle class. "That's what happened when I was president. We need to keep going with his plan."

ANALYSIS: The Clinton presidency was marked by low unemployment, declining poverty rates and strong economic growth. In the latest Obama campaign ad, Clinton seeks to not only remind voters of those good times but to make the case that the country is more likely to prosper under Obama than under Romney.

Clinton also seeks to blame Republicans for the global financial crisis that rocked the country during President George W. Bush's final 18 months in office and at the beginning of Obama's term. Economists have myriad theories for what contributed to the Great Recession. They frequently mention financial deregulation as a contributing factor, but it's rare for them to cite the Bush-era tax cuts as a primary driver of a crisis that had its roots in lax lending standards and risky bank investments.

Romney has indeed called for cutting income tax rates, but he is proposing 20 percent rate cuts for everyone — not just the wealthiest. He also would eliminate taxes paid on capital gains and dividends for those with incomes below $200,000.

Clinton left office with favorability ratings in the mid-60s. Both camps are trying to incorporate that good will for the former president into their campaigns. Romney recently aired an ad showing Clinton signing legislation that overhauled the nation's welfare programs. He is accusing Obama of eroding the legislation's work requirements and indirectly trying to make the case that Obama is no Clinton when it comes to working with Republicans to achieve results.

The new ad is the Obama campaign's attempt to dispel for voters any confusion about which candidate Clinton thinks would be best for the economy.

EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at the claims in political advertising.

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