A new super PAC ad supporting President Barack Obama went live Tuesday, joining a website and an official Obama campaign ad in putting Mitt Romney's business experience directly at the center of the week's campaign news.
The ad focuses on GST Steel, which went bankrupt and closed in 2001 after it was bought by Bain Capital, Romney's venture capital firm.
Far from being cowed, however, Romney and his allies appeared happy to have the economy back as the focus in the 2012 campaign.
Critics of the president's ad were quick to surface, pointing out that the plant closed in 2001 and Romney left Bain in 1999 and that Obama campaign bundler Jonathan Lavine is a managing director at Bain.
"I think the ad is unfair," former Obama car czar Steve Rattner said about the Obama ad. "I do think to pick out an example of somebody who lost their job unfortunately, this is part of capitalism, this is part of life. And I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about."
The Romney campaign quickly released a competing TV spot highlighting Steel Dynamics, another Bain project, titled, "American Dream."
A second ad, titled, "A Few of the 23 Million," was also released by the Romney campaign. The ad focuses on Iowa, and highlights three of the 23 million unemployed or underemployed Americans.
The quick response from the Romney team suggests the business argument is one they are happy to embark on. It's an area where Romney is considered strong — as a businessman — and one where opponents say the president is weak.
"President Obama hasn't run anything before he was elected President of the United States," La. Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday. "Never ran a state, never a business, never ran a lemonade stand."
Jindal endorsed Romney at the beginning of April, saying he looked "forward to supporting him in retiring President Obama."
"He is going to have to savagely attack Mitt Romney," Jindal said of the president. "We've seen the start of that this week and now you're seeing Mitt Romney respond, which I think is a very good thing."
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