A heavy dose of critical (albeit sick) satire from The Onion today begs the question -- Where do you draw the line when it comes to political attack ads?
CHICAGO—With campaign rhetoric becoming increasingly heated and both presidential nominees releasing more attack ads, a new 30-second spot from the Obama campaign this week accuses his opponent Mitt Romney of committing the 1996 murder of 6-year-old beauty pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey.
Titled “He Did It,” the advertisement asks if anyone can truly remember where Romney was the night of the child’s murder, and whether the U.S. populace wants a president capable of strangling a little girl and dumping her body in her parents’ basement.
President Obama appears at the end of the advertisement to approve the message.
“I think this is a fair ad, and I think Mitt Romney owes an explanation to the American people as to why he murdered JonBenét Ramsey,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, who called the commercial’s black-and-white reenactment of Mitt Romney carrying a kicking and screaming child to her death “accurate.” “Ultimately, voters need to know who they’re getting with Mitt Romney: a job- and child-killing businessman who is so deceitful he won’t release his tax returns or admit to a senseless murder that shook the nation to its core.”
Scheduled to run in multiple swing states, with significant airtime in Ramsey’s home state of Colorado, the ad criticizes Romney not just for killing the prepubescent girl, but for going to extreme lengths to cover it up. It also states that Mitt Romney paid former school teacher John Mark Karr to falsely come forward as the murderer, and accuses the former Massachusetts governor of being a sex offender.
Over a silhouette of Romney walking away from the Ramsey mansion—blood dripping from his hands—the commercial’s narrator asks, “If Mitt Romney kept the murder of JonBenét a secret from the American people, what else is he hiding?”