(WASHINGTON) — A provocative new Web video from pro-Republican super PAC American Crossroads highlights what is emerging as a top talking point in the case against President Obama.
The video, titled “Fear,” juxtaposes excerpts of Obama’s widely-praised speech on national unity after the Tuscon shootings in 2011 — and his 2008 pledge to be a post-partisan president — with what Republicans see as his divisive rhetoric of class warfare today.
“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized…and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds,” Obama says in a clip from Jan. 12, 2011.
President Obama is then shown at a rally in Columbus, OH., on Nov. 2, 2008, saying, “In two days you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election.”
Cue the ominous music and a graphic flashing on screen that reads: “My, how time flies…”
The video then presents a barrage of recent negative newspaper headlines and soundbites from journalists and Democrats questioning the tone of Obama’s attacks on Romney.
The tagline is “Hope has changed to fear” as an image of the famous Obama “Hope” poster appears with flames on the bottom.
President Obama and his campaign team deny that their messaging has adopted a negative tone of fear-mongering, noting that most of the $27 million of TV advertising so far has been positive.
“If you live in the states where our advertising is running, you have seen a steady stream of ads over the last months, talking about the things that have happened over the last three and a half years, talking about all the hard work we’ve done together as a people to move out of the mess that we were in when the president arrived,” senior Obama strategist David Axelrod said Sunday.
He added that scrutiny of Romney’s record in the public and private sector is fair game since the experiences are what he touts as his qualifications for the presidency.
“If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope. You tell them it’s still about change,” Obama said at a campaign rally in Richmond, Va., last month. “You tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the face of great odds, we can make a difference in the life of this country.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN