(CNN) – Team Romney sought to refute an attack ad from the Democratic National Committee on Monday by painting the former Massachusetts governor as the right choice to what they call President Barack Obama's wrong choice for America.
In a conference call with reporters, former presidential candidate and Romney supporter Tim Pawlenty said Democrats and the Obama campaign are zeroing in on Romney in an effort to tear the frontrunner down before the general election.
"It's a reflection of Mitt's strength and a reflection of how worried they are about the prospect of facing him in a general election," Pawlenty said Monday.
The DNC commercial, which will run on TV in New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin, portrays Romney as a political flip-flopper, wavering on issues including abortion and health care.
But Pawlenty characterized the attacks as a deflection from the president's record on jobs, government spending, the deficit and taxes.
"[Obama is] ill-prepared, stumbling, bumbling, ineffective, rivaling Jimmy Carter I think in that dismal list," Pawlenty said referencing the former one-term Democratic president.
The national conference call was one of 12 sponsored by the campaign on Monday to "respond and pre-but what the Democrats are doing," Romney Communications Director Gail Gitcho said. "We're not going to sit back and not respond."
Romney, the largely consistent leader in the 2012 GOP primary contest, has received the brunt of the Democratic attacks attempting to poke holes in the former executive's record.
Playing the role of campaign spokesman, Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor who dropped his bid for the GOP nomination in August, highlighted Romney's tenure as governor and experience in the private sector. He also downplayed the importance of rival candidate Newt Gingrich's endorsement from the "New Hampshire Union Leader" editorial board Sunday.
"Every candidate is going to get their share of endorsements," Pawlenty said, before touting Romney backers in the first-in-the-nation primary state, including former Gov. John Sununu, former Sen. Judd Gregg and Sen. Kelly Ayotte. "He'll [Romney] get his fair share."
Bachmann says NBC president should have apologized for rude song
Bill Clinton says Gingrich surge a result of thoughtful positions
Huntsman says Union Leader endorsement highlights 'fluidity' of race
Cain: Confusion has led to drop in support
All they are doing is throwing chum into the water ahead of pack of tea party beasts. It'll be an ugly right up until the delegates meet formally. Maybe even contentious vote. For the first time in decades I'm actually looking forward to the Republican convention. Media should book extra early, as it's likely to be a good protest spot too.
I'd take flip-flop over failure any day...
Obama is worried that the stupid Republicans will win more congressional seats and stop him from fixing the problems of the country. All the Republicans have done is stall what Obama wanted to do. Nothing is getting fixed thanks to the Republicans wanting to take over the presidency. The people don't want the party of NO! Fix this country!
Strikes me more as a "muddy-the-water" type of ad. In a surprising twist of fate the republican party seems to be in a state of disorganization with Mitt sticking around 30%. In an effort to prolong the lack of a clear front runner the Dems throw a little grit in the gears by reminding everyone about the weaknesses of the top contender. I don't think the Dems could be classified as scared.
Romney and Gingrich are the only two Republican candidates that are smarter than Obama. While the right-wing ideology still needs work, I (as an independent) have to at least give credit to the Repubs for putting legitimately intelligent candidates forward.
Pawlenty is exactly right. Romney consistently polls stronger than any of the other Republican candidates in a general election match up. This is the same successful strategy Democrats used in certain senate races last year. Convince Republicans to pick their weakest candidate by tearing down the stronger ones. Unfortunately for Republicans, they fell for it in 2010. Will they fall for it again?