AdWatch: Romney has more promises than specifics

WASHINGTON -- TITLE: "The Clear Path"

LENGTH: 60 seconds.

AIRING: Mitt Romney's campaign declined to say where the ad is airing.

KEY IMAGES: Opens with a black screen emblazoned with white text: "Mitt Romney: The Two Paths." The ad uses video of Romney from the third and final presidential debate Monday night in Florida. "There are two very different paths the country can take," he says. "One is a path represented by the president, which, at the end of four years, would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt, heading towards Greece. I'll get us on track to a balanced budget."

Romney says Obama's path will mean continued declines in take-home pay, 20 million people out of work struggling for a good job.

"I'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs," he says. "I'm going to make sure that we get people off of food stamps not by cutting the program but by getting them good jobs. America's going to come back. And for that to happen, we're going to have to have a president who can work across the aisle."

Romney concludes his direct pitch by saying: "I'll work with you. I'll lead you in an open and honest way. And I ask for your vote. I'd like to be the next president of the United States to support and help this great nation, and to make sure that we all together maintain America as the hope of the earth."

ANALYSIS: The ad, coming as the race heads into its final two weeks, is aimed at delivering Romney's core message that he is best suited to fix the economy. The ad sums up the choice Romney says voters face between his economic prescriptions and an extension of Obama's policies.

He says he'll create 12 million new jobs, get people off of food stamps by creating those jobs and work with Democrats. But he offers more promises than specifics about how he'd go about achieving that and reviving the economy.

Instead, the former Massachusetts governor paints a bleak picture of how the economy would fare under four more years of Obama. Romney says take-home pay will continue to fall for workers while 20 million other people will be out of work.

Romney also blames Obama for the country's debt. The charge is overly simplistic by ignoring the role of federal debt in the broader economy. It's not the full story about presidents and the limited power they have over the economy, particularly on federal spending and the deficit.

Because Congress controls federal spending, presidents must work with lawmakers on cutting the federal deficit. That puts much of what can be done about deficits beyond the sole control of any president. A great deal depends on which party controls the House and Senate.

It's hard to blame the economy's weakness on the sheer magnitude of the debt, now more than $16 trillion. The economy is weak largely because it is still staggering from the recession, which officially ran from December 2007 to June 2009.