Obama campaign: Romney won Florida on negative ads
February 1st, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign: Romney won Florida on negative ads

(CNN) – One day after Mitt Romney’s Florida primary win, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign remains focused on painting the former Massachusetts governor as an unpopular Republican candidate.

In a memo addressed to interested parties and given to CNN by the campaign, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter attributed Romney's victory to the bombardment of negative ads run in the state by his campaign, as well as by the super PAC supportive of his candidacy, Restore Our Future.

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“It’s difficult for Romney to claim Floridians voted for him rather than against his opponents, since less than one-tenth of one percent of the ads in Florida promoted Romney positively,” Cutter wrote.

The contest in Florida has been the most negative campaign on record, according to a group tracking political ads in the Sunshine State. Analysis from Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) shows a whopping 92% of ads airing in Florida over the past week were negative.

Of the 3,276 ads Romney’s campaign ran, 99% were attacking another candidate. Meanwhile, all of the 4,969 spots from Restore Our Future were negative.

In the memo, Cutter argued Romney has poor favorability ratings among independents and said the former governor will have a tough time as he heads to western states that hold their contests in the coming weeks.

“As the Republican race now moves to Nevada, Romney’s out-of-touch positions on housing, seniors’ health and immigration – as well as his lonely support of the Yucca Mountain project Nevadans overwhelmingly oppose and President Obama ended – will continue to repel the very voters who will decide the White House,” Cutter wrote.

Also see:

Gingrich camp pulled in $5 million in January

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Gingrich sued for using 'Eye of the Tiger' in campaign

Florida primary 'the most negative campaign ever,' says media group


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Stephanie Cutter
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Scott Barnes

    It is quite obvious that the liberal media is out to taint the GOP candidates as much as possible. Frankly Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for the condition of our country.Let's throw them ALL OUT and start over with a government of people by the people and not special interests.

    February 1, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  2. Gurgi

    Sounds just like the negative ad campaigning done by the Obama and Clinton camps during the last presidential election. Hmmm, so why are leftists making such a big deal of it? They do it just the same.

    February 1, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  3. Dave

    Oh, please. This is coming from the President who promised to unite us but then states "If they bring a knife, we'll bring a gun!"

    February 1, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  4. Inrealityhere

    With all due respect, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, almost anyone, would be better for this country than the current Marxist.

    February 1, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  5. Independent Voters

    Romney is a flip flop and the biggest liar so watch out for him in the general election.
    Romney would do and say anything to get the independent votes.
    I wondering why Romney hidding his taxes for the pass 6 years.
    Romney is filthy rich and he dont like middle class.
    Independent voters will vote for Obama for 4 more years.

    February 1, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  6. Hypocrisy

    Mitt Romney's campaign slogan is "Restore our Future?" Really? Restore our future to what? More illegitimate and costly foreign wars? Another crippling economic crisis at home? Please Mr. Romney, go take a hike!

    February 1, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. Willie12345

    And Obama treated Hillary with kid gloves ?

    February 1, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  8. Chipster

    Romney is too liberal for the Tea Party but then I suppose Attila the Hun would be too liberal for some of them. Gingrich is their guy because he talks really tough when he's giving them false and misleading information. He need not worry. They won't bother to research anything and, as long as he just keeps them angry, they'll following him blindly. These pseudo-moralists won't be deterred by Gingrich's history of deceit and childish behavior. Gingrich continues to make the claim that President Obama is an admirer of Saul Alinsky. I was a little mystified at this because Alinsky was passionate about the power of democracy, an advocate of people being in charge of their government and destiny. Alinsky's role models were Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, those American radicals who organized the people to create our own government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Then it hit me: Gingrich knows that most of his followers don't know and won't bother to learn about Saul Alinsky. But his name is Alin"sky" and that sounds Russian and that gives his uninformed followers the impression of Communism and Socialism which is about as far as you can get from Alinsky's beliefs.

    Gingrich knows his audience.

    February 1, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  9. Pat

    Isn't it a little early to slam your opponent when he isn't even your opponent yet? Sounds like the Obama campaign would like anyone other than Mitt Romney as an opponent. That speaks volumes.

    February 1, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  10. Steve, New York City

    S.B. Stein – I totally agree!!

    While Obama isn't perfect, I haven't heard a single word from Romney, as to what are his ideas. All I ever hear him talk about is how much he hates Obama. Ok – so he'll win the "birther" vote with a slam-dunk, but what is this guy going to do, aside from spending $17 Million per state to run attack ads?

    Even the moronic Herman Cain had a 9-9-9 plan (still better than anything I've heard from Mr. Vulture Capital).

    Scott Barnes – great comment – I also substantially agree with you!

    February 1, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  11. Gurgi

    @Ryan, "Obama should realize all of America is negative on his job as President."
    That is not strictly true, there are plenty of koooolaide drinkers still out there, plus the hardline lefties whose pride won't let them admit whey they are wrong. For proof, just read the CNN blogs.

    February 1, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  12. ST

    I for one, I do agree he has won by not clarifying what he is going to do differently, but just attacking his major contender. Folks, the time is now to open up our eyes widely and not buy all these garbage.
    We were cheated in 2010 by GOP congress who run on going to Washington and create jobs. Where are the jobs now? Where are they??
    Will the bashing of what people did in the past lives really help anyone??? OR will just saying: "I have been working in the private sector, I know how to do it" help anyone??
    No more selling/buying garbage please! Wake up folks.

    February 1, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    Rmoney bought the election, pure and simple. He is the neocon choice to be their next robot. Therefore, all the money, dirty tricks and endorsements Karl Rove can scrape up will be spent on selling this spoiled rich elitist psychopath to Americas who are nothing at all like him and share few, if any, of his values.

    February 1, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  14. DC Johnny

    And here comes Obama, predictably assuming his "do as I say, not as I do" mentality.

    Obama has spent the last 3 years vehemently dividing Americans with rhetoric aimed at inspiring envy and hate. And now his campaign seizes the opportunity to criticize another campaign for using negativity?

    Hello pot. My name is kettle.

    February 1, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Reagan won by being positive: is that to be found anywhere in the GOP lexicon? Nope.

    February 1, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  16. dew

    how can anyone in there right mind vote for obama, he slings trash like no one else,and the dems will still follow him. a vote for obama is a vote for race.im a dem and when the polls open i will be the first one in line to vote for anyone one running against the dictator obama.and to the other dems wake up obama killing america.if obama win america dead. rip

    February 1, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  17. tp1776

    this will be a sickening general election...watch what these rabid super pacs dump on President Obama

    February 1, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  18. Sista in DC

    Why can't people see through Mitt Romney. He is just another rich white man with nothing else to do but run for the highest political office because he thinks he is entitled. Honestly, Obama doesn't even need to raise a bunch of money, just have a few debates and everyone will see Romney can't stand toe to toe with anyone who has swagger and a good memory. If Romney does win the nomination, he will have to go get is face done so he won't look too much like wrinkled prune standing next to Obama.

    February 1, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  19. Anonymous

    "Frankly Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for the condition of our country."

    Yes, but the Republicans bear far more of the blame (their tax policies, their needless wars, their deregulation/underregulation of Wall St., etc.). Lets strive for historical accuracy, since that is something quite lacking among the right wing extremists.

    February 1, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  20. w l jones

    Our economic is on the move under President Obama just look at all the money is given to all those candidate that shows the recession about over. Govern. R. you think Sen Grinrich gave you problem wait untile you run into Hawiil five O. Bless

    February 1, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    I think it was about 80% or more negative in the Florida campaign. If Mittens thinks that will work in a general election cycle, he is clueless. Along with him being clueless are his two-faced, T-P, fiscal and social conservative supporters who will back a man who initiated a "socialist" health care program in his state as well as being pro-choice and pro-gay rights. Old flippity-flop is in for a reality check soon.

    February 1, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  22. Sheila

    Obama has ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM to comment on negative ads. His campaign was full of them in '08 and his attempt to degrade the win as if Romney is not a true competitor is just another NEGATIVE tactic of the Obama campaign to displace attention from the real issues. The real issue being that Obama has done NOTHING good for our country in the past 3.5 years. His socialist and economic class jargon has further divided us as a nation and made us weak. And let us not forget that the Obama's are Ivy League educated and also in the upper 10% class of America. I'm sure they are not paying any more taxes than they are required either, and I am also pretty sure that they are not giving as much of their net income away as the Romney's. People who are generous like the Romney's are not people who think they are "entitled."

    February 1, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  23. Wyobob

    Acorn compaired to either restore our faith pac or newts family pacs is small tomatoes.
    Look at some of the negatives that obama ran on, affordable healthcare and stopping the war in iraq.

    February 1, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. KCRick

    Is it not ironic that the President, who has run his whole adminstration on negatives (e.g. "blame Bush"), should criticize a candidate who is not even the official nominee???? Don't throw stones in glass houses, Mr. President.

    February 1, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  25. curious

    Romney backers spent $15.3 million in Florida,on his behalf. Gingrich backers spent $3.4 million. Romney backers bought $13,000 ads, 92% negative. Gingrich backers bought about 200, 52% negative. Some believe the American presidency is for sale. It may be.

    February 1, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
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