In an ad premiering today, the Obama campaign criticizes Mitt Romney for not distancing himself from Donald Trump’s persistent questioning of President Obama’s citizenship. Clips contrast John McCain’s firm put-down of birther supporters versus Romney’s silence on the matter.

The ad, titled “Two Republican Nominees,” stitches together Trump sound-bites from sources as various as The View, CNN, and The O’Reilly Factor featuring Trump bloviating about what a “great job” he’s done in asking the President to “show his birth certificate”:

You could say, of course, that Romney isn’t responsible for everything every one of his supporters believes in. (Indeed, that sentiment is uttered in one of the clips here.) That’s the obvious defense that deflates this ad rather quickly. But when a supporter as visible as The Celebrity Apprentice boss keeps hammering away at this obsession, the Obama campaign, with equal obviousness, thinks it might be nice if Trump’s choice for President, Romney, shared his thoughts on what The Donald continues to sow: Doubt, mistrust, misconceptions.

To me, the most curious thing about the ad is the use of jaunty country-blues harmonica playing over Trump’s birther comments. Is the idea to somehow make Trump sound like a country-boy yahoo? This doesn’t square with Trump’s natty big-city attire.

Also, the ad ends with Trump on Celebrity Apprentice uttering his tagline, “You’re fired!” But this is what the Obama campaign wants Romney to tell Trump, not the other way around.

I might have concluded by asking, who cares what Trump thinks, and why does the Obama campaign believe he’s worth attacking? But the sad fact is, some citizens do listen to a guy who holds millions spellbound making decisions between Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken.

I give the Obama campaign ad low points for clarity, but with a few bonus points added for trying to connect the McCain/Trump/Romney/birther dots in just over 90 seconds, and for intriguing un-Obama-like eccentricity.

Grade: C

What do you think of the ad?

Twitter: @kentucker

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