The 2012 presidential race has turned into a battle over barbecue in Richmond.
Early Thursday morning, the Mitt Romney campaign released a television ad featuring defunct local barbecue staple Bill's Barbecue. The once-popular chain closed for good in September after 82 years.
Owner Rhoda Elliot blames President Barack Obama in the new ad, which can be seen here.
"When President Obama took office there was a lot of hope that things were going to change," said Elliot. "Well, he didn't change anything. There are more people on unemployment today and that's because the small businesses are failing because we can't make it."
That's not the case, according to another local barbecue legend.
"The demise of Bill's Barbeque began many decades ago," said Buz Grossberg, owner of Buz and Ned's Barbecue. "They failed to keep up with the market, they failed to change and adapt."
While Bill's floundered, Buz and Ned's opened a second location. Buz credits help from a Small Business Administration loan made available by the Obama administration.
"If it starts failing it's my fault. The president hasn't done anything about it," said Grossberg.
Another Romney campaign ad features endorsements from local business owners, including Homemades by Suzanne in Ashland.
Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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