Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has released a new ad seeking to undercut Republican rival Mitt Romney’s record on jobs.
The new video features former workers of a steel plant that was bought and later shut down by Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Mitt Romney.
“It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us,” one former GST Steel employee says.
Mitt Romney has repeatedly attacked the president for failing to create jobs.
The former Massachusetts governor’s business credentials are seen as a core part of his campaign message.
The two minute-long negative ad is set to be broadcast in five battleground states – Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.
The campaign also issued a six-minute online-only version and launched a website specifically aimed at criticizing Mitt Romney’s record.
Barack Obama’s political allies and surrogates are also expected to denounce Mitt Romney’s track record as a private equity executive at a series of campaign events.
The new ad echoes a theme used earlier in the year by a group supporting former presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.
A half-hour video called When Mitt Romney Came To Town, which appeared in January at the height of the primary battle, portrayed Mitt Romney as a “corporate raider” who destroyed thousands of jobs while amassing large profits.
At the time Newt Gingrich was criticized by members of the Republican establishment, who described the video as “anti-capitalist”.
After the release of the Obama campaign’s latest ad, the Romney campaign said it welcomed the president’s efforts to focus debate on jobs.
“If the Obama administration was less concerned with pleasing its wealthy donors and more concerned with creating jobs, America would be much better off,” Mitt Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
The campaign ad wars are beginning to heat up as the Obama and Romney campaigns embark on the six-month march towards November’s presidential election.
On Sunday both teams released videos marking Mother’s Day, and the fundraising committee Crossroads Generation, which supports Mitt Romney, released a campaign video focusing on the problem of growing student debt.
The Crossroads video is an effort by Republicans to engage younger voters, many of whom back Barack Obama in 2008.