The Ames, Iowa, straw poll will take place this Saturday, but at least two campaigns seem wholly unconcerned with the results of the poll, or even the upcoming Republican primaries themselves. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign has aimed its attacks solely on President Barack Obama since its inception, and that strategy seems to have paid off, in a way: Obama’s campaign is now focused on attacking Romney, although Romney has not received the GOP nod.
“Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee,” POLITICO reported.
This new strategy will reportedly focus on Romney’s past as a businessman, one who put profits ahead of job creation. Another angle the Obama camp will explore is Romney’s “weirdness factor.”
“There’s a weirdness factor with Romney and it remains to be seen how he wears with the public,” a senior Obama adviser told the news site, “noting that the contrasts they’d drive between the president and the former Massachusetts governor would be ‘based on character to a great extent.’”
For its part, Romney’s campaign continues to take full advantage of every perceived weakness in the Obama Administration, the latest of which is the recent downgrade of America’s sovereign credit rating by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
In a blog post on his campaign’s website, Romney is quoted as saying: “When I was governor, S&P awarded Massachusetts with a credit rating upgrade for our sound fiscal management and the underlying strength of our economy. This didn’t happen by accident. The president’s failure to put the nation’s fiscal and economic house in order has caused a massive loss of confidence that resulted in an embarrassing downgrade. In the Carter era, it was called ‘malaise.’ Under President Obama, it’s called meltdown.”
What both campaigns seem to ignore is the fact that Romney’s lead over the other GOP candidates has been shrinking in recent weeks. According to a recent national telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports, 22 percent of likely Republican primary voters supported Romney, followed closely by the thus-far undeclared Texas Governor, Rick Perry, at 18 percent. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who was a close third at 16 percent, is the favorite to win the Ames straw poll this weekend.
At least for the moment though, it seems the Obama Campaign will focus on Romney.
An unnamed Democratic strategist aligned with the White House told POLITICO, “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.”