The Obama campaign and its Democratic allies renewed their accusations on Sunday that Mitt Romney hid portions of his vast wealth in complicated overseas tax shelters, working to sharpen a line of attack that polls suggest is finding some traction.
The Romney campaign has stressed that their candidate has followed all relevant U.S. laws and paid all required taxes, and there is no evidence Romney did anything illegal in his overseas dealings.
Yet the Obama campaign hopes that the perception that Romney hid some of his wealth from tax collectors—as well as the sheer size of his riches—will turn off middle class voters. The campaign's belief that it has found a winning issue was clear on Sunday as it released an online video and top surrogates pressed the attack.
Republicans downplayed the barrage as campaign noise, but it was clear that Romney will need a stronger defense against attacks on his personal finances and his time at Bain Capital as polls begin to show the attacks may be working.
Last week, a Purple Strategies polling report cited by Talking Points Memo found that "47% believe that private investment firms hurt workers and cut jobs, while 38% believe that they foster economic growth and create jobs."
Similarly, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Obama had an eight point lead, 50 percent to 42 percent, in battleground states where anti-Bain ads have aired.
If those numbers hold up, the Obama campaign will keep trying to hammer Romney on Bain—and Romney will need to find better armor. Read more
—Yochi J. Dreazen
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
On Tricky Terrain of Class, Contrasting Paths
[The New York Times, 7/7/2012] President Obama's campaign believes they can paint Romney as an out-of-touch, wealthy businessman to Obama's populist everyman, while Romney's campaign believes voters won't be turned off by his background if Romney can prove he can get the economy back on track. It's unclear which calculus will pay off in November.
Why It Really Doesn't Matter if Romney Outspends Obama
[National Journal, 7/7/12] Barring either side stockpiling an overwhelming cash edge, even seemingly prodigious differences -- like, say, $300 million -- are unlikely to push campaigns to victory.
Bond Between Romney, Boehner Grows Stronger
[The Hill, 7/8/12] Though he hasn't appeared frequently with Romney on the stump, sources say House Speaker John Boehner is supportive of Romney and their staffs are in contact.
Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s 1-Woman Rapid Response Squad
[Politico, 7/8/12] Stephanie Cutter seems to be everywhere -- on the Sunday talk shows, in YouTube videos, and in supporters' email inboxes. Politico looks at the face of Obama's reelection effort.
Tough ID Laws Could Block Thousands of 2012 Votes
[Associated Press, 7/8/12] New laws requiring voter identification could invalidate ballots and suppress the vote this fall, adding a new dimension of difficulty for the candidates in what already looks to be an extremely close race. Meanwhile, opponents of these laws have found ways to mute them.
RNC Chair: 'This President Can't Fulfill a Promise'
[National Journal, 7/8/12] Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus attacked President Obama on Sunday on issues ranging from negative campaigning to last week’s lukewarm jobs report.
Leaks, Lies, Auditions Are All Part of Veepstakes
[Associated Press, 7/8/12] Is he being vetted? Is she meeting with Romney? Questions buzz surrounding the secretive vice presidential search, but it's difficult to say with any certainty who's in the lead.
Portman Visits N.H., But Not To Meet With Romney
[National Journal, 7/7/12] Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a top prospect to become Mitt Romney’s running mate, told reporters on Saturday he has “no plans” to meet with the presumptive nominee who is vacationing in nearby Wolfeboro.
Republicans Hold 'Super Saturday' to Energize Voters
[Reuters, 7/7/12] Hoping to jazz up their base in the same way Obama's 2008 campaign did, Republicans went out in droves on Saturday to try to turn out and excite party supporters at the grassroots level.
Romney Low-Key on Civil Rights, in Contrast to His Father
[L.A. Times, 7/8/12] George Romney vigorously and publicly supported the civil rights movement during the 1960s, and promoted his own anti-discrimination policies while in office. He offers a stark contrast to his son, Mitt, who tends to avoid the subject altogether.