Clinton stars in new Obama ad

Posted at 7:32 AM, Aug 23, 2012

By Ashley Killough

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton takes center stage in a new ad released by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign on Thursday.

The former president, who's been a top surrogate for Obama this year, largely praises Obama in the spot and attempted to draw a contrast between Republicans and Democrats this election year.

"This is a clear choice. 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 ad. "President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education, and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class."

He later adds: "That's what happened when I was President. We need to keep going with his plan."

The 30-second ad, "Clear Choice," will air in the battleground states of New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

In his stump speeches, Obama frequently credits Clinton-era policies for the strong economy in the '90s, arguing the country fared well under Clinton because he "understood what it takes for this economy."

"Nobody has a better grasp and understanding of the issues than this man," Obama said at a June fundraiser in New York.

Clinton was used in another political ad recently, though much to his chagrin.

Mitt Romney's team featured the former president positively in a recent spot that attacks Obama for "gutting" the work requirement in the welfare reform law signed off by Clinton in 1996. The ad was part of a weeks-long campaign by Team Romney that leveled charges at Obama over his administration's welfare adjustments.

However, Clinton himself, as well as fact-check groups and several news outlets, including CNN, have all said the Romney claim that Obama ended the work requirement is untrue.

Clinton, who was set to headline a pro-Obama super PAC event this month, will further cement his role as a major player in this year's election when he delivers a prime time speech at the Democratic National Convention in September.

The former president also joined Obama at an April fundraiser in Virginia.

-- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.