January 21, 2021

The Campaign Ad We’ll Never See (Too Bad)

Voiceover: And now for a joint message from President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney…

OBAMA: As the election draws near, we thought it would be a good idea to do the right thing in this campaign, and tell the truth to the people of the United States of America. The fact is, despite what both of us have been saying out there on the stump, and despite what all those groups that have spent millions and millions of dollars attacking both of us have been saying in their propaganda ads, Governor Romney and I really aren’t that much different, and don’t offer a drastically different vision for our country.

ROMNEY: Well said, Mr. President. You are absolutely right. In the final analysis we may disagree about how to accomplish certain things, but we are actually both pretty similar. We both believe in the power of the office of the presidency and the institutions of federal government; otherwise why would we have devoted so much time out of our lives and so much energy to pursue the position? At heart we are both statists — we believe in the power of the federal government to control economic and social policy as well as provide basic defense and promote the general welfare through federal governance.

OBAMA: You’re right, Governor Romney. I don’t think there is any genuine difference between us at that fundamental level. Now you come at that from a slightly right-of-center position, and I come at it from slightly left-of-center stance, but we’re both sold on federal power and influence as a major driver for our way forward as a nation.

ROMNEY: Mr. President, I also think we both know that there is only so much we can do in the position of president. The economy, for example. Presidents always get way too much credit or criticism for that. President Bush was unfortunate enough to have to deal with the aftermath of September 11 in his presidency, and later a near-total meltdown of the financial system. He’s lucky to have escaped being branded as another Herbert Hoover! And then all of that was handed to you. All in all, we’ve been pretty fortunate.

OBAMA: In contrast, presidents like Reagan and Clinton, who get great credit for their economic policies, were in office during boom-times. Of course they were successful! Also, many people forget that presidents have Congress to deal with — which, I can tell you, is a total crap-shoot. [laughter] Imagine if your “success” was dependent on several hundred other people who can’t get along with each other!

Bottom-line, Mr. Governor, we both know that timing is everything. So, we do the best we can. And I think both you and I would admit that neither one of us is the kind of visionary leader that is going to totally transform the future!

ROMNEY: Isn’t that the truth! [laughter] In that light, I’d like to point out that there is something else about which we agree — we both know that leading this country most of the time is a matter of taking moderate positions on issues, negotiating and working with people with whom we disagree, and practicing compromise and common sense — pretty mundane stuff. This campaign (and the general atmosphere in our country) has been just the opposite of all that. We’ve both had to deal with the extremists on the far end of our parties who can only see things in black and white and can only think in terms of winning and losing.

OBAMA: We are never going to please them, and truth be told, we aren’t ever really going to try! But we’ll keep taking their money and letting them run their attack ads, won’t we? [laughter]

ROMNEY: I want the people of the United States to know that Barack Obama has been a pretty darned good president. He has had his failures just like all of us who take on great tasks, and like I said, I would approach some things differently, but we owe him a debt of gratitude for serving our country in this most difficult of positions and in a challenging season in our national life. If he is reelected, I will be the first to shake his hand and offer my loyal support. I have no doubt he would do a great job if elected to a second term.

OBAMA: Why, thank you for those generous words, Governor Romney. In response, I will tell the people of our country that I appreciate Mitt Romney and think he would be an excellent choice as our next president. Despite the nearly apocalyptic rhetoric of this campaign, his vision of America is not all that different from mine. We both want people to be free and prosperous and secure. We want families to flourish and communities to thrive. We want to protect our nation and do what we can to secure our future.

ROMNEY: That’s right. And whether it gets done from the right-of-center position that I take, or the left-of-center position of President Obama, what matters is that we work together as fellow Americans to see that it happens.

OBAMA: Of course, both Governor Romney and I want to be the next president and we believe in our abilities to do the job and do it well, with God’s help. We may share a lot in common, but we’re not identical, and we encourage each voter to be well-informed when you go to the polls and vote on Nov. 6. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

OBAMA AND ROMNEY: So, may God bless my opponent. And may God bless each voter. And may God bless America.


This ad has been paid for by U.S. Citizens for Truth and Common Sense in Campaigning.


  1. While this is a lovely sentiment, and I’d certainly like to see more honesty and collegiality amongst our leaders, I think it’s a bit of a stretch.

    On woman’s rights and right-to-choose issues, these two men are not the same. Romney has quite clearly come out for a far more restrictive set of abortion laws, as has his VP choice, and would clearly select Supreme Court Justices who would think the same, and almost certainly act to overturn Roe vs. Wade if the chance is given to them. You may believe this good or bad, but it certainly is NOT Obama’s position.

    These two men may also widely differ on health care reform. I have to use the moderator “may” since it all depends on WHICH Romney decides to run the country: the moderate Romneycare “Mitt”, or the Tea Party-supporting “I will repeal Obamacare on my first day in office” Mitt. Or any of the intermediate variations we’ve seen in this painful campaign period. Of course, should any of those Mitt’s die in office, we’ll have Paul Ryan, whose deadly serious devotion to Ayn Rand-style capitalism and the large-scale dismantling of the social safety net can hardly be questioned. He himself proudly proclaims it.

    Then on foreign policy, we run into the same problem. Are we talking about the “foreign policy hawk speech Romney”, or the “I only want peace in our time debate Romney”?

    The simple fact is that the Mitt Romney who was governor might very well differ little from Obama in key areas, for good or ill. And the latter debate Romney might not either. But the intervening Tea Party, “severe conservative”, Paul Ryan-picking Romney would create some vastly different outcomes than Obama. And I for one have absolutely no idea which one I’d get, should I vote for him.

    Fortunately, I live in a state where my vote would have no real impact on the race, since this state will unquestionably go for Romney. Hence, my protest vote for Jill Stein, who actually rejects the mutual agreement between all the versions of these two men that the only realistic way forward for America is hegemony and power.

    • Agree. But it would be the height of dishonesty to pretend that Obama has been consistent or truthful either. In fact, when he took office he changed his mind on almost every position and promise he made during his campaign.

      • I fail to see on what major promises he has failed to deliver. He passed healthcare reform, as he said he would, and is quickly on the way in withdrawing our military from the Middle East, as he promised also during the campaign four years ago. As for gay marriage and social issues, we always knew he was very liberal on those positions. What promise did he exactly break?

        • He said he’d reduce the deficit. He said he’d be transparent. He said he’d be a uniter. He said he’d do away with earmarks.

          Those are just a few off the top of my head.

          • He said he’d close Gitmo, he said he’d try Gitmo detainees in civilian courts, he said he would do away with “enhanced interrogation techniques” (torture) for Gitmo detainees; instead of doing any of these things, he has followed the same policies as W in these matters, not to mention the vastly expanded use of extrajudicial assassinations via drone attacks. He also said he’d foster unity with the Muslim world, but do you know how badly these drone attacks play to the Muslim street? Especially when the double drone attack is used, wherein a second drone is intentionally fired at the same target 15 minutes after the first one, when rescuers have flocked to the scene?

          • Robert F,

            The reason why Obama hasn’t closed Gitmo is because Congress won’t let him. The Republicans in the House won’t vote for the closing of it no matter what it seems, even though Obama has made it publicly known that he would want to. Also, Obama has ended torture under his administration. Google both and you’ll see that I’m not lying.

            I do agree with you on the immorality of the drone strikes however. Nevertheless, Obama did campaign on a platform of going after the “terrorists” by any means necessary. That’s a promise he kept…for better or worse…

          • I see others have already posted some. However, your understanding of the Guantanamo bay prison seems to be incomplete. The Commander in Chief does not need any authorization from Congress to close a military prison, which he can do without closing the entire base. He also raised the debt ceiling which he said he was against, and bailed out Wallstreet which he said he was against. And the troop withdrawal plan that Obama followed was established by the military under the Bush administration. Of course, Obama could have kept the troops their longer, so he gets credit for that. He does not get credit for the long drawn out war in Afghanistan after stumping against nation building.

          • And Obama does get credit for silently rolling back extra-ordinary rendition (it does still happen, but without the bizarre bragging of the previous administration).

          • You are wrong about Gitmo, John. The president has been prevented by Congress from closing Gitmo because Congress won’t allow Obama to transfer the detainees to U.S. soil. The have blocked any financial ways for the President to move people out of Gitmo.

            Although it is true that Obama can “close” Gitmo, he then has no place to put the people there without Congress’s sanction.

          • Yes. Congress has refused to allocate money to deal with Gitmo detainees anywhere else.

            But the blunt truth is that O should have never made that promise or signed that declaration on his first day. D’s and R’s both said no way to transferring the detainees to US soil. And he should have known it. Either this was a pure political play or he let his election go to his head in a very big way.

      • Oh no, I fully agree. Obama backed out of many of his promises, in my opinion, many of which are mentioned in the string of comments below. Gitmo, transparency, etc. And he has worsened drone wars, etc.

        It’s just that now Obama seems a known commodity…I feel fairly certain of what he’ll do in the next four years, whether I like it or not. With Romney, at this point I honestly just don’t know. There have been so many versions, just during the primary and general campaign seasons, that it could be anything from Massachusetts RINO to Tea Party, Ayn Rand Worshiper.

        But rather than go with the devil I know, I’m just going with someone who really doesn’t seem to be the devil, and who won’t have any hope of winning anyway. I just can’t support either man with a good conscience. But that being said, they really aren’t quite as “similar” as the blog post implied, unless you leave a LOT of dissimilarities out of the picture.

  2. Don’t you know that the term “crap shoot” is unaccaptable for some strange reason among certain Christians? 🙂 –

  3. They could be even more brutally honest than that. Instead of campaigning under their own names, they could just remind american citizens that we can’t afford to buy either of them, so which corporate sponsors do we want to pick? Then they wouldn’t even need snazzy campaign outfits, they could wear those nascar suits with labels all over them

  4. Yes, I noticed that by the third debate, both of them had gone so far towards the center they crossed each other on the bridge.

  5. Sorry Chaplain Mike, but there are HUGE differences between the candidates. More importantly, within the next 4 years, most likely 2 to 3 members of the Supreme Court will retire. The social positions of these candidates will very well decide the laws we will have in place for the next generation or so.

    I’m not saying one is a socialist and the other a Randian free market individualist, but both candidates do have extremely different governing philosophies. Anyone who thinks that both candidates are more or less similar really need to do their homework.

    • From this Canadian’s perspective, they are even more closely aligned than Chaplain Mike has suggested. Viewed from the perspective of Europe, I suspect they are virtually indistinguishable.

    • Final Anonymous says

      I’ve heard the Supreme Court justice argument in every single election I’ve voted in, from whichever side of the aisle was most desperate at the time. Even when a justice was replaced, I never saw the massive judicial review and overturn everyone promised. I’d think it would be worn out now.

      • I’ve been hearing it since 1980, and it got me to vote for Reagan. Both terms. My wife hasn’t let me forget it, either.

        I don’t listen to that argument anymore, wife notwithstanding, and I don’t think overturning Roe is the answer now, if it ever was.

    • Even if the candidates had huge differences what we need is more cooperation, more common sense and less ideology.

  6. It started out good but it could have gone on to say that both of them favor continuing wars, especially drone wars, kill lists and illegal engagements like in Libya, NDAA and the indefinite detention of citizens without charges, both in favor, deportations, both in favor. The rhetoric is different but I can’t see that in the end their actions will be any different from one another.

    • I agree. The militaristic policies of the entire U.S. political system is inherently un-Christian and unequivocally immoral. It is an absolute shame that the the Christian community and Church in the United States stands silently by as our president conducts a nefarious drone war half way across the world.

  7. Tricia O'Connor says

    re: ‘on the right to choose’…it is the biggest issue facing the nation. Whether tis nobler in the minds of men and women to kill their children or to let them live, is really the question. Since Roe v. Wade, just how has the nation fared since then? Have men become more responsible for caring for the women whom they want to have sex with? Have rapes subsided? Have women and men had fewer incidents of sexually transmitted diseases? No.
    the fact is, morality is the issue, because killing is morally wrong, no two ways about it. So is having sex with an irresponsible person, worse, it’s plain wrong for a man to get a woman pregnant if he has no intention to care for his own. The Bible says, ‘If anyone does not care for their own, they are WORSE THAN INFIDELS.’ Yes,
    I mention the Bible, the same book that the founding fathers respected along with the Ten Commandments which clearly forbid the disorder that follows adultery and fornication and of course, which forbids murder.
    If a nation has disregard for these commandments, guess what? All manner of disorder will result, including the economy and sickness, (no amount of vaccines will help!), and war. The natural disasters will result if the people of a nation refuse to acknowledge their Creator and His Will.

    • Final Anonymous says

      Then God will be shown in all His glory. Or people will even more see the need for Christ. Or we’ll all die and go to heaven anyway.

  8. …No surprise; the partisans have already commented there are “actually huge differences” between the candidates. Well, yeah, once you take the minor differences between Beavis and Butt-head and put them under a magnifying lens, of course they’re huge differences.

    But I don’t want either Beavis or Butt-head to reign. I want Jesus. Since I’m not gonna get Jesus until he finally returns and overthrows the kingdoms of this world, I guess I’m gonna have to settle for the lesser of the two evils. And folks, as much as they want you to put your hope in them (or at least to fear the other one), never forget they’re still “evils.”

    • Partisans? I don’t see how explaining actual policy differences between the two parties makes one “partisan.” It’s not like anyone overtly showed their support for one candidate over the other, a mere explanation was made, that’s all.

      It’s an imperfect world full of fallen people, but you gotta make the best of what you can. I’m not saying we ought to create some utopia like heaven here, just that you gotta be realistic about the choices you have, even though none of them completely agree with your outlook. That’s how the real world works.

  9. Good try, Chaplain Mike. It’s obviously not going to work either here or with the candidates themselves, but I wish it would.

  10. Huge difference. Many dead bodies in the fast and furious cover-up and still it’s like pulling teeth to get answers. Four dead in the Benghazi cover-up and still it’s like pulling teeth to get answers. You can talk and debate about gay marriage, social issues and who will or won’t give you the best new condoms or rental hand-outs, who is a socialist or Randian free market individualist, Oh my, but when it comes to dead corpses, I want to know who is covering up what and for what reason?! I need to know BEFORE I chose and so should you!

    • We actually do have answers about what happened. Just because you are unsatisfied with the information that is available doesn’t mean that the information isn’t out there.

      • You are right I am unsatisfied with the information so far because what is available amounts to verbiage only, just layers of cover-ups that are impossible to sift through. If you know the truth in all of this please be so kind as to share it with us I am interested in what has been resolved!

  11. They have too much money, power, and influence invested to be civil at that level. They are all beholden to others as well. Like Dr. Frankenstein, they have way too much invested in their political monsters so they would be very hesitant to kill it for the sake of being polite. It’s like injecting two people with methamphedamine and then asking them to sit down a knit. It ain’t gonna happen.

  12. I agree that we tend to over-estimate how much power the president (as opposed to congress, or for that matter random chance) has to change this country. But I _don’t_ think that it’s true that our politicians, right now, mostly just enact moderate, middle-of-the-road solutions to things, or that the two parties have identical views of what the US should become. The policies they’re debating will not make much different for the average middle-class citizen, true. Nor will anything make a difference to the very rich even if they’re asked to pay more in taxes. But what our government does has a _huge_ effect on the more vulnerable – the “alien, the fatherless, and the widow,” in Biblical terms (Ezek. 22:7).

  13. Final Anonymous says

    Good try, CM.


  14. Here’s one thing that I believe a Romney administration would never do:

    Not only the lives of the 4 Americans in Benghazi, but also putting in danger the lives of the man that made that scapegoat video that the White House erroneously blamed for the attack, and his family’s lives. Plus the lives of millions around the world who might be targets for radicals who believed the White House’s lies about that video, and calling attention to it needlessly.

    Reckless and immoral actions and abetted by the media’s disregard for the story, for the most part.

    • Ronald Reagan was warned about placing American troops in Lenanon, and subsequently he was warned about increased security. 241 American soldiers died in a terrorist attack. Need I mention G. W. Bush? It happens on all watches. But if we let those things determine elections then we send a dangerous signal for terrorists in the future. But the dissemination of information post attack is a valid point and someone should lose their job. I believe we will see people step down after the election, but it is sad to see lives used as political capital, and Romney was way too quick to use the situation for his own political benefit.

    • Nonsense, the film was not a “scapegoat”. It was made (by a convicted fraudster) to anger Muslims, and to cynically put the blame on the Jews (The producer clamed to be a Jew, financed by Jewish millionaires) It was translated into Arabic to make sure that Arabs didn’t miss the point, and there was nothing fake about the anger and protests that resulted, including in my own city where several were killed.
      The fact that Al Qaeda used the protests as cover for an assassination in Benghazi does not mean that the Obama administration used the film as a scapegoat, and it was not Obama who endangered the man’s life, “Sam Bacile” did that himself by putting the film out there in Arabic, and although he’d hoped that Jews would be blamed, he was inevitably outed by the media. The film got attention before the assasinations in Benghazi, being broadcast on Egyptian TV, so it did not need the Obama administration to “call attention to it needlessly” as it was already infamous over here.

  15. Usually you only see trolling in comments, not in the posts themselves. Kudos to you Chaplain Mike for getting the comments to make your point for you perfectly.

  16. Haha, it’s funny how everyone here bashes on the political system. Never heard the saying that you get the government you deserve people? The politicians aren’t the problem people, we, the voters are. Who do you think elected those guys in the first place?

    • Final Anonymous says

      Yep. The whole system is so corrupt and messed up, and it runs so deep, I’m starting to think people really can’t accept it. Because it’s 180 degrees from the way we everyday folks think and behave.

      I used to think I could explain it, but maybe the concepts are so foreign people have to see the corruption for their own eyes.

      Until then I’ll keep repeating the mantra though: There is no Christianity and nothing Christ-like about American politics.

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