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N2K Presidential: Obama Camp's Best Offense is a Good Defense N2K Presidential: Obama Camp's Best Offense is a Good Defense

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N2K Presidential Race Analysis

N2K Presidential: Obama Camp's Best Offense is a Good Defense


President Obama(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

For President Obama’s campaign, the best offense is a good defense.

On Saturday, the incumbent's team launched an ad that takes on the question of whether Americans are better off now than they were four years ago. It's running in seven battleground states.

The spot uses news reports, studies and graphs to show progress on jobs since "the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression." It also says Mitt Romney would, among other things, raise middle-class taxes (Romney says he won't) and roll back new regulations on "the banks that cratered the economy."

The Saturday ad came a day after the campaign unveiled another new ad that directly rebuts a Romney spot released only a day earlier. The 30-second TV ad, airing in the nine battleground states, mocks the Republican’s suggestion that he would “get tough on China” after a private career marked by sending jobs overseas. (Notably, it doesn't mention his own record on China.)

Obama’s response seems to violate an old political maxim: If you’re explaining, you’re losing. Rather than opening up a new attack on the GOP presidential nominee, Obama is using valuable time and money to defend himself.

Responding to a rival’s ads isn't unusual, but the Obama campaign’s pattern in this race is unusually aggressive. And it seems to indicate a concern, on issues such as welfare reform or ethics, that the attacks could fester if left unchecked. Read more

--Alex Roarty



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Former Solicitor General Ted Olson Plays Biden in Ryan Debate Prep

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Presidential Debates Can Be Great Theater, But How Much Do They Matter?

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Poll: Obama Widens Lead in Pennsylvania

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