Ken Tucker
November 22, 2011 AT 04:38 PM EST

Mitt Romney released a campaign ad today that begins with some intentionally grainy, hazy images of Barack Obama on the campaign trail, followed by crisp, clear images of Romney accusing him of failing to meet his pledges. As an alternative, Romney proposes a “smaller, simpler, smarter approach to government.”

It begins with “getting rid of Obamacare” because it’s “killing jobs”:

Romney contends we have a “moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.” (This is political magic: attach the word “moral” to any theory or phrase and — voila! — you have God on your side.) With its ominous framing of Obama footage combined with its moralistic message, Romney is pushing buttons for a constituency that he’s having a tricky time appealing to thus far: The no-tax, no-spend wing of the Republican party, some of whose citizens actually believe that “Obamacare” is “killing jobs.” (That there’s no proof that the health care bill Obama oversaw is anywhere near to being so active in the life of economy yet that it’s somehow depriving people of jobs is just, you know, campaign rhetoric.)

Romney’s ad follows Rick Perry’s recent ad which also depicts Obama in shadowy visuals, as contrasted with the bright beam of light emanating from Perry’s orbs:

Perry takes a hazy, grainy soundbite from an Obama speech about how “we’ve been a little bit lazy… we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.” Obama was referring to the government, not citizens, with his use of “lazy,” going on to talk about his administration’s SelectUSA program to organize state and local governments to work with foreign investors to “build plant[s] in the United States.”

But Perry twists it so that the President is calling us lazy. “Can you believe it?” he says with trumped-up indignation. Perry’s ad is getting heavy airplay on cable news outlets, particularly Fox News, in which he refers to the President’s “socialist policies.”

What do you think of the Romney and Perry ads?

Twitter: @kentucker

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