Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's first general-election ad popped today, laying out the November election as a choice -- Romney or four more years under President Obama -- and not a referendum.
Don't expect many more like it.
The ad trumpets Romney's eagerness to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and by extension the jobs it would create, to supplant the 2010 health care law with a "common-sense" alternative (although it does not specify what), and to "introduce" tax cuts for job creators. On "day one," Romney would do these things, the ad proffers.
No mention of the explosion in national debt, of the forgiveness begged of foreign leaders for purported U.S. transgressions, of the betrayal of the principle of American ascendancy. No need yet.
Romney's introductory ad is upbeat, positive, and pitch-perfect as a first outing. There are, still, more than five months until the general election, leaving ample room for warmth and positivity before the two-fisted onslaughts.
Plenty of time for that later.
-- Jim O'Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
How Outside Groups Can Torpedo Campaigns They Support
[National Journal, 5/17/12] The proposed advertisement that would have attacked Obama on controversial racial grounds has been scuttled – luckily for Romney. But National Journal’s Alex Roarty writes that the close call still highlights a potentially ominous lesson: In the post-Citizens United era, candidates are at the mercy of well-heeled outside groups.
Obama at Camp David: The Commander-in-Chief Strategy
[National Journal, 5/18/12] When Obama hosts the G-8 summiteers at Camp David this weekend, he'll not only be giving a back-to-the-future flavor to that hoary gathering -- making it relevant again for the first time in years -- but also looking very, very presidential. National Journal’s Michael Hirsh weighs in.
Obama Raising Money Off Proposed Jeremiah Wright Attack
[Washington Post, 5/18/12] Campaign manager Jim Messina sent out a fundraising appeal on Thursday night saying that the proposal, submitted to (and rejected by) a Republican super PAC, “shows in vivid and gruesome detail what the president and all of us are up against.”
Hotline’s Veepstakes Power Ranking
[National Journal, 5/18/12] As the stakes rise for Romney’s team to make a veep pick that doesn’t harm the ticket, conveys gravitas, and steers clear of too much controversy, the short list is narrowing dramatically. Hotline ranks the potential GOP VP candidates: Sen. Rob Portman of Ohiio is up, while Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is down.
Newspapers, the Internet, and Reaching New Voters
[National Journal, 5/18/12] A new survey has found that Romney voters, who are more likely to be older, get most of their news from print newspapers. Obama supporters, who are more likely to be young, tend to get their news from the Internet. Those age gaps highlight the opportunity – and the challenge – the Obama team faces in getting out the vote. National Journal’s Reid Wilson weighs in.
GOP Ad Man Davis Never Shies From Controversy
[National Journal, 5/17/12] The Republican ad man tapped to work on a provocative advertisement campaign that would have resurfaced the link between President Obama and the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has a history of embracing shock-and-awe tactics when it comes to producing ads that go viral, as National Journal’s Naureen Khan writes.
Romney Launches First General-Election Ad
[National Journal, 5/18/12] Romney's campaign is out with its first television ad of the general-election campaign, describing what a Romney presidency would look like on “day one.” The spot will be launched in four swing states -- Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa, and Virginia -- with a $1.2 million buy.
Ron Paul Supporters Will Flex Muscles at Minn. GOP Convention
[Minnesota Public Radio, 5/18/12] Paul may have stopped actively campaigning, but his supporters are still going full-throttle. In Minnesota, the state GOP convention starts today, and Paul already has 20 of the 24 national delegates elected at local conventions held earlier. If he adds just one more delegate of the 13 remaining, he’ll gain a majority in the state.
Biden on WV's Vote for Felon: 'They're frustrated. They're Angry'
[NBC News, 5/18/12] In an interview with a local television station in Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden went a little off message when he said that he doesn’t “blame people” for voting in large numbers against the president in West Virginia’s Democratic primary earlier this month. He said that in the recession, people are “frustrated” and “angry.” Obama still won the primary.
Romney Repudiates Planned Race Attack on Obama
[National Journal, 5/17/12] Romney on Thursday rebuked a new super PAC-sponsored ad that has been widely criticized for racial undertones, but didn’t fail to take Obama to task for his campaign’s own recent barrage of harsh portrayals of Romney as a merciless corporate raider.
Clinton and Reagan Draw Praise (But Not From Whom You’d Think)
[New York Times, 5/17/12] It’s all about scoring points in a heated election year: Romney has been lavishing praise on Bill Clinton for breaking with his party’s traditional big-government orthodoxy, while Obama harks back to Ronald Reagan for agreement that millionaires should not pay lower tax rates than the middle class.
Rahm Emanuel ‘Livid,’ Not Returning Calls from Ricketts Family
[Washington Post, 5/17/12] Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is reportedly “livid” over a potential ad that Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts commissioned against President Obama. The mayor, who is known for his temper at times, is not returning phone calls to the Ricketts family, and said the ad plans were insulting to the president.
2012 Political TV Ads: The Rush Is On
[Politico, 5/17/12] With nearly six months left before Election Day, national party committees have already reserved more than $72 million in TV airtime for a fall campaign that may go down as the most cluttered and expensive in history.
With Cookies and Conversations, Romney Tries Charm
[Associated Press, 5/18/12] After days of sour relations with the press, Romney went on a charm offensive on Thursday, taking reporters’ questions and plying them with sweets.
Americans Elect Gives Up on Presidential Race
[Wall Street Journal, 5/17/12] After spending $35 million trying to launch a centrist, third-party presidential candidate, Americans Elect is giving up the quest, saying that no candidate had managed to garner sufficient support to become the group’s nominee.
Attend a National Journal LIVE event | Sign up for National Journal newsletters
DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES