Thirty-six hours. That's all the time Priorities USA Action, the lone outside super PAC backing President Obama, needed to fashion a TV advertisement out of Mitt Romney's instantly infamous condemnation of nearly half the country as government-dependent "victims." The spot, unveiled on Wednesday morning and running in six battleground states, offers the Republican presidential nominee's secretly recorded remarks as proof that he's hostile to the middle class.
The group has been hammering at Romney's purported indifference to that share of the electorate since May. So, the secretly recorded video made public this week isn't new ground so much as a perfect chance for Priorities USA to repackage an old message, like a play that changes scenery for the second act.
If many voters perceive Romney as out of touch, it's due in no small part to the successful script that this group has written. That political environment, fostered and fueled by Priorities USA, gives its latest ad and argument extra resonance.
Mocked much of this campaign as an underfunded cousin to a wave of flush conservative counterparts like American Crossroads, Priorities USA has had an outsized impact on the presidential race. If the Obama campaign has waged a war of attrition against Romney, Priorities USA has been responsible for an array of tactical strikes key to defining him in negative ways — largely before the GOP nominee and his army of super PACs bothered to draw a positive picture of him.