Ad Watch: More Smooth Talk, No Reality in Romney Ads


Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 20, 2007

Contact: Damien LaVera – 202-863-8148

Ad Watch:
More Smooth Talk, No Reality in Romney Ads

Washington, DC - With conservative leaders rejecting him, leading opinion-makers questioning his election year conversions on key issues, and polls showing him stuck in the mud in early primary states, smooth talking Mitt Romney hit the panic button today, launching new TV ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan and Florida.

Romney erred on the side of fabrication basing his ad on smooth talk, not reality. The ad comes just days after Romney’s first appearance on a national Sunday news show since declaring his White House candidacy, which was received as “thoroughly counterfeit” by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. [Washington Post, 2/20/07]

Below is a new Ad Watch from DNC Research:

Fact Check – Romney Ad



Ann Romney: Every place that Mitt has gone, he has solved problems that people said were nearly impossible...

Romney failed to meet his own goals as Governor. "Romney himself admits that a number of his goals remain unmet. His inability to lower the nation's highest unemployment insurance rate, to secure merit pay for teachers, and to reinvigorate the Republican Party were among the frustrations he listed." [Editorial, Boston Globe, 12/26/06]

Announcer: Mitt Romney. Business legend. Rescued the Olympics. The Republican Governor who turned around a Democratic state.

Massachusetts Lost Jobs on Romney Watch. Romney oversaw a net decrease of more than 3,000 jobs in Massachusetts. [BLS, Seasonally Adjusted Employment Statistics, 12/2002 - 10/2004]

Romney Distances Himself From Health Care Plan. "With signs emerging that his signature healthcare plan faces hurdles, former governor Mitt Romney has begun to distance himself from the new law...At recent political appearances, Romney has subtly lowered expectations for the law he championed as governor...The plan for statewide, near-universal health coverage was the centerpiece of Romney's administration, and it has become a key part of his presidential resume...Romney's recent comments underscore how sensitive an issue the plan is with conservative audiences, whose support is crucial to his presidential aspirations. Many conservatives view the concept of requiring individuals to purchase health insurance -- and penalizing some businesses that don't offer it -- as anathema to their principles." [Boston Globe, 2/3/07]

Mitt Romney: I believe the American people are overtaxed and the government is overfed. I believe we're spending too much money and that's got to stop.

Romney's Real Record: Highest Property Taxes in 25 Years. Romney's cuts to local aid forced Massachusetts property taxes to their highest level in 25 years. [Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05]

State & Local Tax Burden Increased 5.1 Percent During Romney Administration. According to The Tax Foundation, a conservative tax research organization, in 2002 (the year before Romney came to power), Massachusetts state and local tax burden was 9.8 percent: the 34th highest in the nation. The Tax Foundation reported that in 2006, Massachusetts state and local tax burden had increased to 10.3 percent: the 28th highest in the nation. Thus, during the Romney administration, Bay Staters saw their taxes burden increase by 5.1 percent in real terms. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation]

Romney Raised $500 Million in Fees, Earns "C" on Cato Institute Fiscal Report Card. "Romney's fiscal policies in Massachusetts have received mixed marks from conservative watchdogs. The tax-averse Cato Institute gave Romney a 'C' on its 2006 fiscal report card, saying the former governor...failed to hold the line on taxes. 'His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees,' noted Cato Institute budget director Stephen Slivinski." [Boston Herald, 2/8/07]

Mitt Romney: I believe our laws ought to be written by the people and not by unelected judges.

44 "Pro-Family" And Conservative Leaders Called On Romney To Reverse Gay Marriage Policy, Romney Declined to Act. "MassResistance has released a letter sent to former Governor W. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts in December just before he left office. The letter was signed by a diverse group of 44 pro-family and conservative leaders, including both national and influential state-level activists. It reveals a broader and more profound rejection of Romney's pro-family claims than social conservatives have previously expressed, and directly challenges his assertion that he truly opposed homosexual 'marriage.' The conservative leaders called on Romney to reverse his erroneous directives which began homosexual 'marriages' through an executive order prior to his leaving office on Jan. 3. But Romney declined to act, though he had both authority and obligation to reverse the damage done to the institution of marriage and the rule of law." [Christian Newswire, 1/13/07]

Romney Backed Gay Rights. "Romney once was nicely supportive of gay issues -- not marriage, but civil unions -- and of repealing the odious 'don't ask, don't tell' provisions relating to military service. Romney once felt so strongly about gay rights that he even went to the left of Ted Kennedy in their 1994 senatorial battle. 'The gay community needs more support from the Republican Party,' Romney said in an interview that year. And in a letter written in 1994 to the Log Cabin Republicans, he looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve 'openly and honestly in our nation's military.' That day will not come should he become president, he has said recently. Peering into the homophobic heart of GOP primary voters, Romney now thinks gays ought to stay in the closet. He has changed his mind." [Washington Post, 2/20/07]

Mitt Romney: Look, these are critical times we face... We face attack from jihadists... We face tougher competition than we've ever known before coming from Asia. We're spending too much money here...We're using too much oil here.

On National Security: Romney Supports Bush Plan to Escalate Iraq War, Even Though He Thinks We "Created The Difficulty That We are In." Former Governor Romney reaffirmed his support for President's Bush proposed troop escalation in Iraq. Romney said, "We were underplanned, underprepared, we were understaffed in terms of our military team." Romney faults U.S. policy in the region for current conditions. Romney said, "We have, to a certain degree, created the difficulty that we are in." However, he voiced support for the President's plan to send 21,500 additional troops to the region. He said, "I think it has a reasonable probability of success, not necessarily a high priority;" noting that, "If it does not work we will know that in a matter of months, not years, and we can adjust our strategy." [, 2/9/07]

On Fiscal Policy: Experts Say Romney Didn't Really Save Any Money. According to Michael J. Widmer, of the conservative Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, "No Romney reform has saved any meaningful money. It's all on the margins. The have no connection to the closing of the gap." [Boston Globe, 10/24/05]

"Massachusetts Imposed More Fee Hikes Than any Other State in the Nation." On August 28, 2003, Congress Daily reported, "A survey of states grappling with spending crises has found that Massachusetts imposed more fee hikes than any other state in the nation this year -- at least $500 million, the Boston Globe reported. GOP Gov. Mitt Romney and the Legislature, faced with a multibillion dollar shortfall, made it more expensive to get a marriage license or a divorce, file a court case, buy a house, renew a driver's license, or tap into a host of other state services. The study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that Massachusetts was one of 30 states that enacted fee increases this year." [Congress Daily, 8/28/03]

Romney Refused to Sign "No New Tax" Pledge. When he thought he needed to look more moderate to get elected governor in 2002, Romney's campaign mocked the pledge as "government by gimmickry." [Boston Globe, 1/5/07]

Romney Signs Pledge to Hide Tax Raising Record. This month, Romney signed the same "no new tax" pledge he refused to sign in 2002 to hide the fact that under his failed leadership, Bay Staters saw their tax burden increase by more than 5 percent, and Romney's cuts to local communities sent Massachusetts property taxes to their highest level in 25 years. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation; Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05]

On Energy Independence: Romney Opposed Increases to CAFE Standards. Romney's spokesperson Kevin Madden said, "Governor Romney believes it would be unwise to arbitrarily increase CAFE standards outside the context of a comprehensive solution to reduce our dependence on foreign oil." [Boston Globe, 1/28/07]

Romney Opted Out of Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions. Governor Romney decided not to join a multi-state program that would eliminate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 10 percent by 2019. The initiative was signed by the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. [, 1/18/07]

Mitt Romney: Our schools are failing too many of our kids...

On Romney's Watch, Mass had Largest Reduction in K-12 Spending in the Nation. "For instance, between 2002 and 2004, Massachusetts reduced real per pupil spending on K-12 education more than any other state in the nation. Other areas, such as higher education, public health, and environmental affairs, have been reduced by more than 20 percent in real terms since 2001. Moreover, an annual loss almost certainly imperil the Commonwealth's efforts to expand access to health care." [Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1/2006]

Romney Education Legacy: "Reduction in Resources for Education Funding." On December 16, 2005 the Quincy Patriot Ledger reported "Many educators blame Romney for cuts in local aid to schools." The Patriot Ledger quoted Catherine Boudreau, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, as saying, "Even though he spoke about the importance of education, his legacy so far is that we have seen a reduction in resources for education funding." [Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05]

Romney Budget Cuts Forced Teacher Layoffs. On July 24, 2003, the Boston Globe reported, "Even with the fee increases, Massachusetts lawmakers have had to cut spending on K-12 education, forcing teacher layoffs, push 10,000 legal immigrants off Medicaid, and force rape crisis centers to close, along with a host of other state services that have been scaled back." [Boston Globe, 7/24/03]

Mitt Romney: This is not a time for more talk and dithering in Washington... It's a time for action. I believe in the people of America. Free American people are the source of this land's great strength. I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message.

Romney Offers More of the Same Special Interest Agenda: Flew on Pfizer Jet While Considering Health Care Reform. "Gov. Mitt Romney and his top advisers flew to California this week on a corporate jet owned by a leading pharmaceutical firm, as he and the Legislature consider enactment of a universal health insurance law the governor labels one of his top priorities. Also aboard the aircraft Tuesday were three representatives for Pfizer Inc., owner of the $40 million Gulfstream V. They included a top government relations official at New York-based company, one of its New England lobbyists and a Republican media consultant from Boston who represents the company." [Boston Globe, 12/2/05]

Company Had Business Before the State. "Pfizer has lobbied states to expand enrollment in Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor. The program buys drugs from the company. Massachusetts is considering a Medicaid expansion as part of its health care overhaul." [Boston Globe, 12/2/05]

Romney Still Soliciting Flights from Corporate, Private Jets. A letter from National Finance Director Spencer Zwick seeking donors of corporate and private jets appeared on the website Said Zwick: "We have a team of folks dedicated to meeting the demands of hectic weekly schedules while understanding the importance of minimizing travel costs. One key way in which we can cut costs is by increasing our pool of private planes. Although we would like to use commercial flights for the Governor's travel, that is not always feasible... Today, we are calling on you to help us maximize the Governor's time and presence throughout the country by increasing the number of private planes available to us." [, 2/9/07]