Mitt Romney’s cash-intake valve is delivering what his staid personality has never been able to provide voters: shock and awe.
The $106 million in June receipts Romney posted on Monday morning, $35 million better than President Obama’s campaign, help set up the Republican presidential candidate for what could be a nice run over the next several weeks. While timing remains murky, it makes some sense for Romney to tap his running mate before his overseas trip later this month, which would furnish him with a top-tier surrogate while he’s abroad and trigger still more cash sources. The trip itself will paint Romney in a worldly chief-executive light, the antithesis of the ugly American, fleshing out a still-slender foreign-policy portfolio. Don’t expect anything that even sounds like an apology.
And then it’s on to Tampa. All of this will be nicely augmented by the impressive $160 million Romney has in the bank and, of course, the gobs of outside money that Republicans will rain down on the candidate.
Democrats have enjoyed the last few weeks of chatter about outsourcing and offshore accounts. But a historically funded candidate essentially tied with an incumbent less than four months from the election, and about to embark on a favorable set of campaign rites, is a dangerous thing.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Romney Set to Counterattack on Bain
[BuzzFeed, 7/9/12] The Romney campaign said surrogates will start using the word "liar" to describe Obama and his attacks on Romney's business record. After Obama's accusations that Romney was an "outsourcing pioneer" during his time at Bain, Romney surrogates will make the case that most of the offshoring happened after Romney's time with the company.
Has the Obama Campaign Gotten Under Romney's Skin?
[The Atlantic, 7/9/12] With the Romney's campaign declaration that they will start calling Obama a liar, The Atlantic's Molly Ball notes that the campaign has failed to get an emotional reaction from Obama so they are finally giving one themselves.
Romney’s Money Lifts Him Out of Doldrums
[National Journal, 7/9/12] The release of Romney’s prodigious fundraising numbers is a reprieve from nearly a month of bad news for the campaign: criticism that he was an outsourcing “pioneer,” questions about his personal finances, and the Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” ruling. Now the GOP can point to a definitive metric that proves Romney is outperforming Obama.
Crossroads Group Begins Fall Ad Buys
[National Journal, 7/9/12] So far, conservative super PAC American Crossroads has purchased more than $39.8 million in advertising across at least 10 battleground states— both in the presidential and Senate races—between Labor Day and Election Day.
Obama Campaign Move on Taxes Not Going to Happen
[National Journal, 7/9/12] Obama delivered essentially a campaign speech on Monday to make the case for extending the Bush-era tax cuts for one year for families who earn less than $250,000. As Nancy Cook writes, while this rhetoric may play well in swing states where taxing the rich gives the Dems a boost in polling, it also serves as a reminder about the deep divisions within the Democratic Party.
Romney’s Unusual Strategy in Colorado
[Wall Street Journal, 7/9/12] Romney will visit Grand Junction, Colorado on Tuesday, an historically Republican part of the state. Neil King Jr. points out for the Wall Street Journal that this is another location in Romney's travels that is home to his base, as oppose to where people on both sides live.
Romney Says Wealthy Donors ‘By and Large … Doing Just Fine’
[CNN, 7/9/12] At an exclusive gathering in Southampton, N.Y., Mitt Romney told wealthy donors he worries more about helping the poor and middle class rather than wealthier individuals there, including himself, who he believes are “by and large … doing just fine.”
Fight Over Health Care Law Resumes
[Roll Call, 7/9/12] House Republicans will vote on a measure to repeal Obama’s signature health care law on Wednesday, and are expected to pressure Senate Democrats to take up the measure. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats will try to pivot to jobs and the economy.
Amid Many Shenanigans, Romney's Team Picking a Running Mate
[Associated Press, 7/9/12] The Romney campaign has been secretive about choosing a running mate but public sideshows have people talking. Actions by VP the short-listers and comments by Romney and his team give possible information to this otherwise closely held search operation.
Romney Mines the Hamptons for Campaign Cash
[New York Times, 7/8/12] From a luncheon fundraiser at the home of billionaire Ronald Perelman, the largest estate in East Hampton, to events at the Southampton homes of a former U.S. ambassador to Brazil and billionaire industrialist David Koch, Romney traversed the most exclusive corners of the tony New York communities this weekend in search of fundraising gold.
Demonstrators Protest as Romney Raises $3 Million in the Hamptons
[Los Angeles Times, 7/8/12] Meanwhile, some 200 protesters—many from the Occupy movement—took to the streets on Sunday outside the beachfront Koch estate with chants and signs like "Your $50,000 ticket equals my child's education," "End corporate personhood," and "Don't forget to tip the help."
Will It Be Portman?
[National Review, 7/9/12] As a respected and wonky lawmaker from a swing state, sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is seen in many quarters as the default favorite for Romney’s veep pick, National Review’s Robert Costa writes, even though there is scant evidence about his actual standing or the selection process.
Gibbs Hits Romney on His Overseas Financial Holdings
[National Journal, 7/9/12] Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, continued his attack on Romney's overseas financial holdings on Monday, suggesting at one point that any misleading information in his financial disclosures “is actually punishable under federal criminal law.”
How Reid and McConnell Are Helping Their White House Hopefuls
[National Journal, 7/9/12] Obama wants to distance himself from an unpopular Congress, but his incumbency and years of collaboration with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., leave the two Democrats little reason to downplay their close coordination. By contrast, Romney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are steering clear of each other.
Jim Messina, Obama’s Campaign Manager, Is Confident in Strategy
[USA Today, 7/9/12] Jim Messina, who joined the 2008 Obama campaign as chief of staff, has maintained a relatively low profile. But he is a major presence among Democratic insiders; some say he’s a savvy political operative, while others complain that he has focused too much attention on attacking Romney and not enough on explaining the president’s vision.
Romney’s Minimalist ‘Mad Men’
[Politico, 7/9/12] Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, Romney’s main ad and message team, tend to rely on a conservative, light-on-specifics, first-do-no-harm philosophy that seems to work in statewide or congressional races, but is trickier in a presidential contest.
Want to stay ahead of the curve? Sign up for National Journal’s AM & PM Must Reads. News and analysis to ensure you don’t miss a thing.