In his latest reset (we've lost count), Mitt Romney has taken a bold step to show his humanity and look straight into the camera. His campaign has released a new 60-second ad in which Romney says he cares about poor and middle-class families and that his policies show compassion for them by making their lives better. This is one more step in the long campaign to humanize Romney. For his campaign reset last week, an ad showed new footage of Romney talking about "my plan to help the middle class" but looking slightly off camera. When Romney released his 2011 tax returns last week, he also released a doctor's letter on his overall health, which ABC News' Gregory J. Krieg called "what must be the most potent 'humanization' tactic available." In his reintroduction at the Republican National Convention, the campaign aired a 10-minute biographical video to humanize the candidate. Conservatives complained that the humanizing video wasn't shown in prime time. Now the video's getting more love. Before his speech in Ohio Wednesday, Romney's campaign played the video, which reporters report is blew away both the audience and reporters. ("Hard to fathom it wasn't shown in prime-time." "Romney should come on stage right as it ends — take advantage of captivated crowd.")
In the new ad, Romney tells the camera that while both he and Obama "care about poor and middle-class families… The difference is my policies will make things better for them." He adds that, "We should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good paying job." This is a way to reframe what Romney said in the "47 percent" secret video -- that his job is not to worry about the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes, because he can't convince them to take personal responsibility -- without completely disavowing what he said in it. It's not that he wants to take away government benefits from poor people and grandmas. He wants to give them a better job.