Obama campaign keeps bulls-eye on Romney
Jim Messina talks with reporters during a tour of the re-election headquarters in May.
October 19th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama campaign keeps bulls-eye on Romney

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election campaign wasted no time responding to front-runner Mitt Romney's performance at CNN's debate Tuesday night.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, campaign manager Jim Messina repeated attacks the campaign and national Democrats have been making recently against the former Massachusetts governor, targeting him as an inconsistent candidate on positions.

Messina claimed that Romney had previously hired undocumented workers but now takes a hardline stance on illegal immigration. The issue was raised in the debate Tuesday, and Romney fought back denying the accusations that he hired the workers knowingly.

Romney said when he found out that a company he paid to mow his lawn had hired undocumented workers, he told them to let them go, saying: "I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals."

But Obama's campaign hit Romney for objecting to the workers not because "he thought it was wrong" but because he was running for political office.

Messina was also critical of Romney for referring to the payroll tax cuts as "temporary little Band-aids" and said Romney's economic plan wouldn't benefit the middle class or those facing home foreclosures.

Messina said the only core principle driving Romney is "getting elected."

"That is why Romney doesn't have any credibility when he's out there saying he's fighting for the middle class," Messina said.

Romney's campaign responded Tuesday, saying the president has turned the country into "an economic disaster zone."

"He and his campaign will continue to try and distract Americans from his failed economic record over the next year but it's not going to work," said spokesperson Andrea Saul in a statement.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Debby

    I can't believe the Obama campaign is still focusing on the lawn mowing guys vs. why Romney's economic plan won't work. Talk about stupid campaign staff. LOL

    October 19, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Romney's campaign responded Tuesday, saying the president has turned the country into "an economic disaster zone."
    -------------–
    A plausible argument can be made that the economy is a disaster zone. But, the economy was a nuclear evacuation zone when he took office. I challenge the Republican critics to stop taking the easy road and declaring everything that was done was wrong. I challenge them to speak about what *should* have done differently, and result would it have had.

    October 19, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Independent Voters

    President Obama would outbeat romney in debate

    October 19, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    A plausible argument can be made that the economy is a disaster zone. But, the economy was a nuclear evacuation zone when he took office. I challenge the Republican critics to stop taking the easy road and declaring everything that was done was wrong. I challenge them to speak about what *should* have done differently, and result would it have had.
    ===============================================================================================
    Truth is EVERYTHING he did WAS wrong!! Borrowing and spending your way out of a recession? NUTS. Demonizing and attacking businesses? NUTS. Huge unemployment lines, yet one year wasted jamming Obamacare down the country's throat? DOUBLE NUTS!!

    All Obama has tried to do is save union jobs, and now his own. Everything he did prolonged the recession and deepened it. He's been a complete disaster. And now we're nearly $5 TRILLION MORE IN DEBT with NOTHING to show for it.

    October 19, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Tom

    This constant focus on Romney by Obama's staff seems to be an attempt to do whatever possible to make certain that Obama doesn't have to face him in the general election. It seems fairly transparent. If I were Romney, I'd wear it as a badge of honor. Obama is all but trumpeting from the mountain-top that he sees Romney as the real threat, as well he should.

    October 19, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Only a right wingnut who subscribes to Hoover economics would think you can cut, cut, cut, your way out of a depression or Bush's near depression of 2008. It did not work in 1929, and it will not work now.

    October 19, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I survived 30 years of republican class warfare, and I am getting tired of republicans telling me that only the rich can have the American dream.

    October 19, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What group of right wing idiots believe what the republicans who represent the wealthy 1% are saying? I would encourage seniors on social security and people receiving veterans benefits to tell the republicans who represent the wealthy 1% to go straight to h3ll.

    October 19, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. seebofubar

    Even on the liberal leaning polls Obama's approval rating is around 40%. He looses to a generic republican is every national poll. If Obama has to debate Romney it would be the most embarasing day in his life he would actually have to think on his feet, not good for a man who can't say good morning without a teteprompter.

    October 19, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Wall Street Crime Victim

    "I can't believe the Obama campaign is still focusing on the lawn mowing guys vs. why Romney's economic plan won't work."

    That's probably because "Mr. Corporations are people, too" doesn't have an economic plan. Let us know if you find it.

    October 19, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "Borrowing and spending your way out of a recession? NUTS. "

    Um. hate to burst your bubble, but it's called Keynesian economics and it has been proven by history to work. The GOBPbagger deathcult of capitalism uber alles is, by comparison, as real and effective as a unicorn.

    October 19, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Kris in AL

    So Obama 2012 is saying Romney KNEW he was hiring illegals? Please. I would say then the question is how did Barack Obama NOT KNOW about Tony Resko's nefarious background? How did Barack Obama not know that his land deal for his house add on was not simply a bribe?

    October 20, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. RJK

    The campaign is focusing on the lawn mower guys because it's an issue the voters can easily wrap their brains around. Economic policy isn't. And in the upside-down world of political logic, you go after the guy you want to run against. Attack Romney, he gets a headline.His profile is raised. His credibility goes up. Meanwhile, you ignore the guy you don't want winding up with the nomination. When this starts to make sense, you know you're in trouble.

    October 20, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |