Super PACs and presidential campaigns are legally prohibited from coordinating with one another. But it's not hard to echo and amplify one another's message in the frantic pace of presidential elections. And on Friday morning, Mitt Romney's campaign released a memo that played off of the attack line offered the day before by American Crossroads, accusing President Barack Obama of being a popularity-obsessed, absentee president.
This past week previewed the stark contrast facing voters in this election. Governor Romney’s speech Tuesday night in New Hampshire contained a crisp and specific critique of President Obama’s policy failures and his own positive vision for a better America.
The speech left the Obama campaign sputtering – with even David Axelrod offering praise. In fifteen minutes, Governor Romney dismantled the myths of “hope and change” with the reality of a failed record that even the President and his campaign are struggling to defend.
President Obama’s stagnant, government-centered economy has depressed growth and the American spirit of natural optimism. At a time when a campaign just emerging from a long primary should be struggling, Governor Romney has rapidly unified support and begun to capture the imagination of the country with his vision of a pro-growth economy that will lift us out of the Obama doldrums. It was a big speech to mark a big win that begins a big debate about big things.
President Obama, on the other hand, spent the week slow-jamming the news, striking a Heisman pose, and trying to pick a fight over student loans to help the one-in-two recent college graduates who are either jobless or underemployed as a result of his policies (which is apparently really funny stuff to the President). Unfortunately for him, Republicans agree with the need for a temporary extension, but want it paid for by cutting spending rather than raising taxes. So instead of the fight he was hoping for, he got a debate over taxes and spending – which he wasn’t hoping for.
This attack line was used by the McCain campaign in 2008, to limited success. But Romney's argument is a bit less theoretical. He isn't asking voters whether they want a celebrity or a president, but rather whether they want a celebrity to continue as president.