Former President Bill Clinton personally makes his 2012 campaign TV ad debut in a new spot affirming President Obama's economic plan.
"This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. This is a clear choice," Clinton says directly to the camera.
"We need to keep going with his plan," he says of Obama.
The endorsement underscores just how valuable and credible Team Obama sees Clinton in the quest to influence persuadable voters in a handful of key swing states. The popular 42nd president has appeared with Obama on the stump, in campaign web ads and at events to support the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action.
Obama regularly invokes Clinton in his argument for higher taxes on upper-income earners, arguing the approach taken during the 1990s - "our plan" - led to budget surpluses and millions of new jobs.
"The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation. That's what got us in trouble in the first place," Clinton says in the new ad, which begins airing today in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said Clinton was trying to distract voters from the sluggish economic recovery under Obama's watch.
"Twenty-three million Americans are struggling for employment, incomes have fallen, costs have risen, and the deficit has climbed past $1 trillion for the fourth straight year," she said. "Mitt Romney's 'sterling' private sector experience and his plan for a stronger middle class offer a new direction."
Henneberg was alluding to a Clinton interview on CNN earlier this year when he said Romney had a "sterling business career."
This spot, titled "Clear Choice," is also noteworthy for what it does not mention: Mitt Romney. In terms of tone, this is the first positive TV ad from the Obama campaign in nearly a month.
This post has been updated.