If the Obama campaign hopes to lock in voters’ minds an unflattering and anathema-to-swing-voters image of Mitt Romney, as the Bush campaign did with Sen. John Kerry in 2004, it’s time to pick up the pace.
Bushworld began in the spring, highlighting Kerry’s sojourn in Sun Valley after wrapping up the nomination, before moving on to windsurfing, while luxuriating in Kerry’s less-than-eloquent discussion of his votes for and against $87 billion in military operations.
Since April, Team Obama has tried the "Buffett Rule,” student loans, Osama bin Laden, gay marriage, and Bain Capital. They’ve been tripped up by Hilary Rosen, wretched unemployment reports, Wisconsin, and last week’s wildly errant “doing fine” remark.
The tack now is aimed at Romney’s governing record, Massachusetts’ own sluggish economic growth and nation-leading debt during his tenure, and unwillingness to come to the aid of LGBT youth. It’s a cleaner attack than the Bain offensive, because fewer Democrats will be willing to come to the defense of a Republican governorship not noted for partisan comity than those with private equity ties.
Problematic for President Obama is that Romney is not running on his Beacon Hill years. He’s running against Obama’s White House and, to a lesser extent, on his own business career.
There’s still plenty of time to muscle Romney into a Procrustean frame of unelectability. But the clock’s running, and efforts so far have proved less than fruitful.
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
Obama, Romney Prep for Dueling Speeches
[CNN, 6/13/12] President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will campaign in the same state on the same day for the first time on Thursday and they’ll do it in Ohio, yet more evidence that the state has become the mother of all battlegrounds in 2012.
Romney Calls Obama ‘Eloquent,’ but Says ‘Words Are Cheap’
[National Journal, 6/13/12] President Obama plans to give a major speech on the economy on Thursday. But before he’s giving it, Romney slammed the president for not presenting any new ideas on the economy, saying that although the president is “eloquent,” his “words are cheap.”
Romney Does Face the Nation, His First Non-Fox Sunday Show
[Washington Post, 6/13/12] This Sunday, Romney will sit down with Bob Schieffer for the first time in this election cycle, the first Sunday show the Republican challenger has done outside of Fox News Sunday. Romney has been criticized for staying clear of Sunday shows in the past.
Romney's Health Care Plan Would Not Prohibit Discrimination Based On Pre-Existing Conditions
[Huffington Post, 6/13/12] As part of Romney’s plan to repeal and replace the president’s signature health care law, his campaign said that it would not include a provision that prohibits discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions—one of the biggest tenants of “Obamacare.”
Obama Boy’ Wants the President to Be His ‘Rainbow-Colored Knight’
[Gawker, 6/13/12] Move aside “Obama Girl,” there’s a new man in town—or should we say, boy. “Obama Boy” released a video on Wednesday, saying he has a crush on Obama. The video shows the affection of a man who just learned Obama supports same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.
Romney Adviser: Good Economy In Ohio Comes Despite Obama, Not Because Of Him
[TPM, 6/13/12] The Romney team isn’t giving President Obama an inch when it comes to economic recovery across the country. As both candidates travel to Ohio on Thursday, a Romney advisor in a conference call to reporters said that Republican governors deserve the credit.
Who’s Spending What Where in the 2012 Race — In One Chart
[Washington Post, 6/13/12] The Post tracks the ad spending in the presidential election from June 12 to June 18, and finds that the Obama campaign is spending significantly more than Romney, spending $7.2 million on the air. Romney, in contrast, will spend just $2.5 million.
Dems: Obama Could Lose, Donors Better Get Moving
[Associated Press, 6/13/12] More and more Democratic strategists fear that Obama could, in fact, lose the presidential election if he doesn’t shape up his message and Democrats step up their fundraising in the coming months.
Adelson to Give $10 Million to Pro-Romney Super PAC
[Wall Street Journal, 6/13/12] Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is giving $10 million to Restore our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. The amount may be the largest single donation toward Romney’s efforts so far.
Candidates' Economic Plans Get Negative Marks
[CNN, 6/13/12] Independent voters are not interested in the economic plans presented by Romney or Obama, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released today. 54 percent of independents view Obama's economic plan unfavorably and 47 percent view Romney's plan unfavorably.
Wall Street's Vote: Romney by a Landslide
[Politico, 6/13/12] Romney's presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it are outraising Obama among financial-sector donors, in part due to Wall Street's dislike of the president. Nineteen Obama donors from 2008 are now giving large amounts to Romney.
Cafe Owner After Hosting Romney Event: 'I Felt Like it Was a Mocking'
[KPTM, 6/13/12] After Romney held an economic roundtable in a Council Bluffs, Iowa, café, the owner was a little upset by the treatment she received from the campaign. From not getting to meet the candidate, to having café property destroyed, Romney had to call the owner to apologize—an apology that sounded like a mocking, she felt.
Spin Meter: Romney Championed Green-Energy Fund
[Associated Press, 6/13/12] Despite his criticism of Obama for not allowing green energy firms to rise or fall in the free market, Romney backed a Massachusetts program that targeted investments to individual green startup companies, in order to boost jobs and state revenues.
Winning Minorities a Struggle for Romney
[The Hill, 6/13/12] The Romney team thinks they have a chance at cutting into Obama's lead among minorities in part because, amid the current economic turmoil and doubt in the country, Hispanics' and blacks' unemployment figures are rising.
Political Groups Target Key Voting Demographic on Pinterest
[USA Today, 6/13/12] More than two-thirds of women are using Pinterest and politics have recently discovered its ability to give political messages. Now advocacy groups such as ThinkProgress, the Heritage Foundation, the AFL-CIO, and the Democratic National Committee are present on the site. The first lady also joined Pinterest today.
Attend a National Journal LIVE event | Sign up for National Journal newsletters
Don't Miss Today's Top Stories