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Obama uses Down syndrome to hit Romney

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

In its latest effort to slap Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment, the Obama campaign on Monday tapped a young woman with Down syndrome to pull at the heartstrings of undecided voters.

The Obama-Biden campaign's web page featured a "letter of the week" from a 25-year-old woman who wrote that "I am one of the 47% of Americans who fall under Mitt Romney's definition of 'entitled' and 'unable to take responsibility for my life.' I have Down syndrome."

The letter comes on the heel of the campaign's TV ad playing in battleground states that uses the audio of Romney dismissing efforts to win over 47 percent of voters dedicated to Obama because they receive some kind of government assistance. While the Romney campaign said the context is about the election and not how he will approach the nation as president, the Obama campaign has made the case that Romney won't look out for those who need help.

Enter "Brittany" and her letter. In it, she said that she is a registered Democrat, and on assistance, which she said makes her part of Obama's 47 percent.

"My mother applied for Social Security's Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) for me when I was 19. I really want to make lots of money and have a hot tub someday, but SSI subtracts my paychecks from my SSI benefits, so I don't have much to put into a savings account," she wrote.

"I am now working for a store, folding clothes and doing returns. I like my job a lot! I make $4.98 an hour and I am allowed to work 25-30 hours a week (I have paid $542.72 in federal, FICA, state, and city taxes this year as of August 31st)," she added in a knock at Romney's other comment that many of Obama's supporters don't pay taxes.

It's full of very cute lines. "I just got my own apartment and share it with another girl like me. I get to pay rent now ($325 a month) and pay for my telephone and cable because I like the Disney Channel. I was not allowed to take my dog with me, but I can hang all of my Hannah Montana posters on my bedroom wall," she wrote.

And, she added, "I have also included my picture, not just because I'm cute, but because I wanted to give you a face of one of the 47% to share with Mr. Romney."

Blogger Jeryl Bier noticed the letter first, calling it an "exploitive cheap shot."