The Obama campaign has seized on a thinly sourced magazine article littered with blind quotes to press the argument that Mitt Romney is some sort of itinerant Caribbean banker, offshoring his own investments with brio matched only by his penchant for offshoring American jobs.
And they’re rubbing their hands together over the similarities, voiced on Monday by a senior Romney aide, between President Obama’s view of the price associated with avoiding the individual mandate--penalty, not tax--and Romney’s. That angle discounts the administration’s courtroom presentation of the aforementioned cost, but no matter.
Obama’s reelection effort is pitched at an offensive tilt not seen in weeks, sensing in recent attacks on Romney’s Bain Capital and the Vanity Fair allegations a softness in Romney’s body armor, and emboldened by the Supreme Court's validation last week of the health care expansion law.
Momentum between the two campaigns will fluctuate endlessly in the 126 days until Election Day--recall the innumerable jobs reports that purportedly buried the president, or how Romney was somehow rendered impotent by the Republican primary. And they’ll both be pummeled again by the news cycles between now and then.
But, for now, Chicago has the forward lean of confidence it hasn’t enjoyed in some time.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
With Four Months to Go, Obama and Romney Are Neck and Neck
[Associated Press, 7/3/12] In the final lull before the sprint to Election Day, Romney and the president are neck and neck across the polls and in fundraising numbers, with no signs that either can break away.
Obama Fundraising a Little More Awkward This Time
[National Journal, 7/3/12] In the world of Sheldon Adelson and Romney’s multimillion-dollar-fundraising binges, Obama’s fundraising has taken on a new urgency. But diminished enthusiasm among the 1 percent doesn’t necessarily mean game over for Obama.
Republicans Grumble Over Romney's Health Stance
[Weekly Standard, 7/3/12] Congressional Republicans are reluctant to speak on the record, not wanting to take shots at their nominee, but it’s clear that many of them are not happy, Stephen Hayes reports. "Romney is quickly proving himself to be what some of us expected--very reactionary, without a clear alternative to Obamacare," one Republican House congressman said.
Welch Chimes in With Murdoch: 'No Room for Amateurs'
[CNN, 7/3/12] A day after Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to chastise Romney for having "old friends" on his team and suggest he hire pros, former General Electric Chairman and CEO Jack Welch also expressed his opinion on Romney's campaign via Twitter, backing up Murdoch.
Christie Would 'Answer the Call' on Becoming Veep
[CNN, 6/3/12] "The fact is, if Gov. Romney picks up the phone and calls, you have to answer the call and listen at least," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose name is often listed on Romney's likely VP short list, said on CNBC today.
New Ad: ‘President Obama Believes in In-Sourcing’
[National Journal, 7/3/12] After launching a series of stealth ads targeted at battleground states that attacked Romney over outsourcing, Obama’s reelection campaign is now going big with a new ad saying the president "believes in in-sourcing."
Romney Camp Says Former Barclays CEO Won't Cohost Fundraiser
[Boston Globe, 7/2/12] Romney’s campaign announced that former Barclays CEO Robert Diamond will no longer be cohosting a planned fundraiser in London for the former Massachusetts governor. Diamond abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning over rate-fixing charges.
Poll: Romney Claims Slight Edge in 15 ‘Battleground’ States
[National Journal, 7/2/12] The latest CNN/ORC International poll shows Obama marginally ahead of Romney nationally, but the Republican leads his Democratic rival 51 percent to 43 percent in 15 states labeled “battleground” states by CNN.
Investigating Romney’s Offshore Accounts
[Vanity Fair, 7/3/12] Come August, Romney will be one of the richest people ever to be nominated for president, but he is hesitant to discuss his wealth. Vanity Fair’s Nicholas Saxson delves into Romney’s fortune, particularly his accounts in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
Romney Will Aim for a Personal Contrast in Israel
[BuzzFeed, 7/3/12] Romney’s planned trip to Israel this summer is a move that has less to do with foreign policy than with symbolism--and may be one place Romney can find a better emotional connection with American voters than the incumbent.
Obama’s Lead Holds, but Manufacturing Report Could Mean Trouble
[New York Times, 7/2/12] A manufacturing report that showed a sharp decrease in orders for new goods could be bad news for Obama, with manufacturing activity a rare bright spot in the economy that could be especially important in the swing states of the Midwest. Meanwhile, Obama is bracing for Friday’s June jobs report.
Romney Campaign Declaring Cease Fire on Health Care
[National Journal, 7/3/12] Romney, after giving a brief statement decrying the decision, has been virtually silent on criticizing the health care law. He's been on vacation and his campaign has been giving off clear signals that it doesn't want to make health care a major part of the election.
Romney’s Tax Trap
[Politico, 7/2/12] Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom stepped on a political landmine on Monday when he said that the presumptive GOP nominee agrees with the Obama administration that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is a penalty, not a tax.
Romney Fears ‘Flip-Flopper’ Label on Immigration
[New York, 7/3/12] Rupert Murdoch recently needled Romney via Twitter over his “safe” Hispanic strategy, but Romney is reportedly maintaining that he’s being purposely vague about his immigration stance because he doesn’t want to be branded a flip-flopper.
Wall Street Is Still Giving to Obama
[Wall Street Journal, 7/2/12] Even after Obama called Wall Street executives “fat cats,” hit them with tougher regulations, and tried to do away with one of their tax breaks, the securities and investment industry donated more than $14 million to the president and the Democratic National Committee through the end of April.
On Health Care, Glimmers of Hope for Obama
[National Journal, 7/2/12] Surveys released since the Supreme Court’s decision indicate that among independents and the general public, voters are split on the ruling, indicating an escape hatch for Obama: Even if the country’s political middle still isn’t happy with the law, it’s at least ready to move on.
Holder Says GOP Has Made Him a ‘Proxy’ to Attack Obama
[Washington Post, 7/2/12] Attorney General Eric Holder sharply criticized lawmakers on Monday for voting to hold him in contempt of Congress last week, saying they used an investigation of a botched gun-tracking operation as a way to seek retribution against Obama and the Justice Department for its policies on issues such as immigration and gay marriage.
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