Clinton appeals to voters in new Obama ad

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DENVER – In a new TV ad running in Colorado and several other swing states, former President Bill Clinton speaks directly into the camera and tells voters nostalgic for the economic growth of the 1990s to give President Barack Obama four more years.

The ad is especially noteworthy not only because Clinton has proven to be such an effective communicator, but also because, with it, the Obama campaign is pushing back at Republican Mitt Romney whose campaign has sought to co-opt Clinton’s legacy for their own benefit.

In a recent TV ad, Romney laud Clinton’s 1996 welfare overhaul and argues that Obama has stripped the legislation of the provision forcing welfare recipients to be employed or seeking employment (although multiple fact-checks of the ad conclude that the claim itself is false).

In the latest Obama ad, Clinton speaks straight into the camera and frames the election as a choice that will make a huge difference in the strength of America’s middle class.

“This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. This is a clear choice,” Clinton said in the ad. “The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation. That’s what got us in trouble in the first place.

“President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class. That’s what happened when I was president. We need to keep going with his plan.”

For all the ways the ad may help Obama, it also re-focuses the viewer’s attention on the economy, which is still sputtering with unemployment at 8.3 percent. The Obama campaign, in many cases, has sought to focus the electorate on other issues — women’s health, mainly — that appear more favorable to them.

The Clinton ad is running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.