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Romney claims Solyndra is Obama's 'Symbol of Failure'

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during news conference in front the shuttered Solyndra solar power company's manufacturing facility Thursday.

SAN DIEGO -- The Romney campaign has moved quickly to exploit the candidate's unannounced visit to bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra, producing a web ad entitled "Symbol of Failure," designed to highlight the president's role in the failed business.

The ad intersperses audio from national news broadcasts' coverage of the bankruptcy and subsequent federal investigation of Solyndra (including NBC's coverage), with clips of Barack Obama visiting the plant in 2010, and Romney's press conference there Thursday.


Graphics highlight what the Romney campaign is presenting as the vital statistics of the Solyndra failure, which took place after a series of federal loan guarantees were put in place which Republicans decried as the height of cronyism: 1,100 employees laid off, $535 million in taxpayer dollars spent. 

After Tuesday's Texas GOP primary, Mitt Romney was able to clinch the party's nomination with more than the 1,144 delegates needed. Vanity Fair's Carl Bernstein and the Washington Post's David Ignatius join a conversation on why the race between Romney and Obama is so close. The panel also discusses Romney's recent hits against Solyndra.

The quick-turnaround ad comes as the Romney and Obama campaigns are concluding a week spent battling over Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts, and the salience of his role as CEO of Bain Capital when it comes to expertise creating jobs -- not just wealth for investors.

Thursday, the political theater reached its zenith (or nadir - depending on your perspective) with dueling press conferences on the East and West coasts, as Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod attacked Romney's record as governor in Boston, and Romney attacked the president's record, standing on a highway median in front of the vacant Solyndra headquarters in Fremont.

“Two years ago, President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of the success of his stimulus. Well you can see that it’s a symbol of something very different today. It’s a symbol not of success, but of failure,” Romney is shown saying near the close of the 1:38 second web video, as uplifting music begins to play. 

"I can tell you that my experience in the economy tells me how it is businesses make decisions to hire people in America. I want to use that knowledge to get Americans working again. The idea of 23 million American families out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed is unacceptable and crony capitalism like this did not help,” the ad concludes.