A new ad from the Newt Gingrich campaign called “The French Connection,” paints Mitt Romney as a tax-raising, moderate, elitist who will “say anything” to get elected.
Exhibit A? He speaks French. “Just like John Kerry.”
“Bonjour, je m’appelle Mitt Romney,” Romney says in the ad, a bite from a 2002 video he made to introduce volunteers to the Salt Lake City Olympics, whose official languages are English and French.
This is the second time we’ve seen Romney’s French past used against him this week. In the over-the-top documentary, “When Mitt Romney Came To Town,” the pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future repeats parts of the Salt Lake City clip several times.
But Romney isn’t the only one with a French connection, Foreign Policy points out. Gingrich lived in France for a few years as a teenager and knew “enough French to survive.” And in 2009, he compared himself to French president Charles de Gaulle.
Gingrich’s attacks on Romney’s history of “vulture capitalism” have been backfiring this week, as conservative commentators and even Romney’s critics have come to his defence. But channeling francophobia was an effective attack against John Kerry in 2004, and it may well work here.