WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney's first general-election TV commercial promises he would introduce tax cuts and approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Day One of his presidency.
The Republican candidate's campaign released the ad Friday, coupling it with a fundraising pitch. The 30-second pitch is upbeat, in contrast to a spot President Barack Obama's campaign is running that criticizes Romney as a businessman. Romney has called the Obama ad "character assassination."
In Romney's commercial, his first since becoming the presumptive nominee, an announcer asks, "What would a Romney presidency be like?"
"Day One: President Romney immediately approves the Keystone pipeline, creating thousands of jobs that Obama blocked," the announcer declares, referring to a pipeline that Obama has delayed, which Republicans insist shows that Obama is hostile to the energy industry.
"President Romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish them," the announcer says, repeating a familiar Republican theme.
Then, in an effort to ease conservative skepticism, the announcer says, "President Romney issues order to begin replacing Obamacare with common-sense health care reform."
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a health care overhaul that was a model for Obama's health care law. Conservatives loathe the law's requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance or face penalties.
Romney himself does not speak in the ad. But the ad shows video and still photos of Romney appearing with U.S. workers, underscoring the campaign's central pitch that Romney is the best candidate to improve the economy.
The ad ignores Congress' role in fulfilling these promises, especially on the health care law. A full repeal would require votes from Republican majorities in both the House and Senate or Democratic support for repeal. Republicans currently control the U.S. House and have voted to repeal the law. But Democrats control the Senate, and the balance of power on Capitol Hill would have to shift in order to make Romney's pledge a reality.
And on taxes, Congress would have to act. The president cannot set tax rates.
Data from television stations shows the ad will air in Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio, all critical battleground states in the fall. The campaign also released a Spanish language version.
The campaign has not aired commercials since Romney's top Republican challenger, Rick Santorum, dropped out of the race for president.
Several conservative super PACs have stepped in instead, airing ads attacking Obama.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company