Can You Trust a Candidate Who Runs Misleading Ads?

Mitt RomneyRepublican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's latest television ad takes direct aim at Barak Obama, seemingly by using the President's own words against him.

"If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," we hear Obama tell an audience during a 2008 speech in New Hampshire.

The problem that some have with this particular ad is that the words were taken out of context.

Many of you have told us that you need to feel like you can trust a candidate in order to vote for him or her, so I have to wonder ... Does the fact that Mitt Romney would knowingly mislead voters with an ad affect how you feel about him as a candidate?


Here's the ad in question:


Obama's exact words during this speech were:

"Even as we face the most serious economic crisis of our time, even as you are worried about keeping your jobs or paying your bills or staying in your homes, my opponent's campaign announced earlier this month that they want to ‘turn the page’ on the discussion about our economy so they can spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.’"

Now of course, there are two sides to every story. Romney's team clarified the wording of the ad in a press release on his site, which read:

Three years ago, candidate Barack Obama mocked his opponent’s campaign for saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.” Now, President Obama’s campaign is desperate not to talk about the economy.  Their strategy is to wage a personal campaign – or “kill Romney.”  It is a campaign of distraction.

Many are speculating that the ad was intentionally misleading, calculated to generate controversy and media attention, and to put our focus in this election on the economy.

But I have a problem with this kind of strategy (In fairness, Romney's not the only one who's used it. Rick Perry also took Obama's words out of context for a recent ad.) -- because the vast majority of people who see these kinds of ads won't ever know the whole truth about the speech excerpts.

If a candidate would willingly mislead Americans in order to get their votes, I can't help but wonder what else he or she would do in order to get elected. It leaves me feeling uneasy.

What about you?


Image via Matthew Reichbach/Flickr

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