Obama Backers Begin $30 Million Campaign as Republicans Meet

A group supporting President Barack Obama is starting a $30 million advertising campaign today attacking Mitt Romney as the Republican National Convention gets under way.

The ad paid for by Priorities USA Action, a super-political action committee headed by former Obama aides, features Olive Chase, a registered independent and small business owner in Massachusetts. She voted for Romney in 2002 when he won the governorship of that state and she gave money to his campaign. Ten years later, she is no longer a supporter.

“Governor Romney cares about big business; he cares about tax cuts for wealthy people, and I certainly do not believe he cares about my hardworking employees,” Chase says in the ad. “I feel like I was duped by Mitt Romney. I’m going to vote for President Obama.”

Priorities USA Action previously spent $20 million on ads challenging Romney’s business experience and character, focusing on the former private equity executive’s time at the helm of Boston-based Bain Capital LLC. Those attacks said Romney and his partners at Bain created profits for themselves at the expense of working-class Americans.

The new ad will run online and on television outlets in the battleground states of Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia. It is the first in a series of spots planned by the group that will focus on Romney’s record as governor and his possible impact on middle-class voters if elected president.

“Americans are going to hear a lot of about Mitt Romney this week,” said Bill Burton, co-founder of the super-PAC, referring to the Republican convention. “These new ads are designed to make sure voters hear the whole story.”

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign donations, Chase hasn’t donated to Obama’s presidential campaigns. She did give $1,000 in April to Representative Bill Keating, a Massachusetts Democrat.

Romney’s campaign called the new ad a “desperate attempt” to distract from the president’s economic record.

“President Obama’s policies have devastated the middle class and led to record unemployment and less take-home pay,” said Amanda Henneberg, a campaign spokeswoman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julianna Goldman in Washington at jgoldman6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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