In a conference call with reporters late Wednesday evening, Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina and Senior Strategist David Axelrod shared details about President Obama’s and First Lady Michelle’s first campaign rallies in Ohio and Virginia, and talked about taking on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his record in government and business.
A contrast of records, vision
Saying Gov. Romney has been running for president for six years and that the wealthiest man ever to run for the office hasn’t had a regular job during this time, President Obama and his campaign will make it clear that the Romney “monologue is over.” They will do that by putting Gov. Romney’s record up against the President’s record.
Messina said the choice between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, who has all but won the Republican Party nomination for president this year, is clear. He framed the coming contest as a choice between two distinct records and two different visions for the future of the nation.
“The choice is as clear and simple as this: are we going to move forward, or go backward? Are we going to continue to turn the corner, or turn back the clock and turn our backs on the middle class?”he said, adding, “We’re right- we’re ready to go.”
Axelrod, who went to work in the White House following the 2008 win but who returned to Chicago in preparation for this year’s re-election campaign, said Gov. Romney’s business career, which he’s used as his trump card throughout the Republican primary season, wasn’t about job creation. “It was about wealth creation for himself and his partners, and often it came through vehicles like outsourcing, leveraging companies with debt, bankrupting companies and making money off of those bankruptcies and often times that cost jobs in certainly wages and benefits,” he said. The middle class shouldn’t get too excited about a President Romney, Axelrod inferred, because he his record isn’t one of creating jobs, “so there’s nothing in his business record that would suggest that he’s a champion of creating an economy that works” for them.
What Axelrod said he and others noticed in Romney’s speech from New Hampshire Tuesday night, after he was the winner of five more primaries, was that he failed to mention that he was governor of Massachusets.
Romney’s turnaround in Massachusetts
Answering the question of Romney neglected to mention that fact, was that during a generally prosperous economy that spread across the nation, Massachusetts under Romney went from 37th in job creation to 47th in job creation, giving it one of the worst records in the country of losing manufacturing jobs as workers’ wages declined by two percent.
Axelrod said Romney’s talking points are the same today as they were ten years ago: “I’m a businessman, I know the real economy, I have the secret sauce that can turn the economy around.”
“We are proud of the President’s record, proud of what he’s done to take us from the point at which he took office where we were losing 800,000 jobs a day, four million jobs in the six months before he arrived, and got us to the point where we’ve had 25 straight months of private sector job growth, 4 .1 million jobs created,” Axelrod said.
Emphasizing that Mitt Romney has been busy endearing himself to the Tea Party and making promises he can’t keep, Messina said he and others have been building the largest grassroots campaign in modern American history.
He added, “For the last 6 years, Mitt Romney has been running for President. And for the better part of the last year, Romney’s tried to tear down President Obama with a dishonest, negative campaign that even his Republicans have criticized
Did the path to 270 just expand?
Ohio and Virginia are the first two states on the campaign rally train because they are critical states to reaching the critical mass of 270 Electoral College votes. Messina told reporters that they have many paths to victory, and that another path may have opened with the news in the past 48 hours that one Arizona poll puts Obama tied with Romney and a second has him leading.
“As you know, we have worked hard to expand the map and have many ways to get to 270 electoral votes. We continue to believe we have all of those pathways that I walked through in December and more…So we believe there are even more pathways then there were before…,” Messina said.
You’re invited to comment on this column and to join me on Facebook and Google+, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.
Great news! CGE articles are now included in the daily digital E-Clips compiled and distributed by the Ohio House of Representatives to its 99 Members and staff, the Office of Ohio governor and others who need to keep on top of Ohio people, politics and government news and newsmakers. Send news or tips to email@example.com.