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

Video: Mitt Romney sings

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. ThinkAgain

    While true, you have to admit that the reality of Gingrich's life is negative, so it'd be pretty hard to run a positive ad.

    February 1, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Anon-i-mouse

    I'm not sure how some of these people on here say "everyone" wants Obama out. He has close to a 50% approval rating and a lot of those who disapprove do so because he is too moderate (not liberal enough). The people who approve will vote for him. The people who think he's too moderate are not going to vote for the GOP, so he'll get a big chunk of that vote. That'll likely mean more than half the country will vote for him.

    Anyone who says he is a "socialist" is so sucked in by the right-wing crazy people. How can some call him "socialit" and some call him a "Tool of Wall Street"? Those two terms are incompatible. The truth is he is a MODERATE – like most Americans. Those who look past the ranting and raving from the fringe realize that and love him for it.

    Obama 2012!!

    February 1, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. typical white person

    hillarious. obama's camp being critical of another campaign. this coming from the most devisive president in history with his class warfare message. too funny!

    February 1, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Scott O' Canada

    Sorry, but if Mitt Romney will be the Republicans answer, then it must have been a silly question. Americans are looking for more pitbull, less poodle.

    February 1, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Phil in KC

    He's looking more and more like the eventual nominee. So of course you go after him. Don't let him build up too much steam. It's very obvious that Romney will go negative in the fall campaign and, as they say, the best defense is a good offense.

    February 1, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. roro

    Considering the vile negativity of this Republican primary, Obama will have no choice but to run a negative campaign as well. This just shows how dumb the electorate is, and how money trumps all. Citizens United should be repealed, and campaign financing completely overhauled. Small sums of money donated by ACTUAL LIVING BREATHING PERSONS, combined with equal funds from the government and equal air time, should eliminate all that's wrong with this process. Elections should be of the people, by the people, and FOR the people – not of the corporations, by the big banks, and for the rich.

    February 1, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. amf140

    NEGATIVE ADS from the Campaigner and Chief's re-election committee. Just wait till November and we'll be amazed at the Chicago-style, filth of a campaign that will be waged not only against the Republican nominee but also against different classes of the American people. Plus he will have a billion $$$$. This will be history making of the very worst kind. A black-eye in American politics.

    February 1, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. neel

    So, it is no longer a virtue. It has to to do with percentage. 70% is fine but 99% !!! That's just too much, isn't it?

    February 1, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitt Romney proved in what can only be viewed as a unstable and sociopathic character flaw that he actually does enjoy "firing" people. It is also apparent that he enjoys kicking at folks who are already down and out.

    February 1, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Phillip

    I wonder who the "Our" is in the Super Pac "Restore Our Future"–for some reason I don't think it is the middle class or the working class of this country who is paying for Romney to restore the future. Just a thought.

    February 1, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. FIELD1stSGT

    FACE UP OBAMA> It is you who is unpopular. Only with your groups do you have any votes and they are dwindling for they are seeing the real you. A liar, imposter and a teller of tales. In others words the do nothing President. One who only can blame Bush instead of coming up with solutions. Even if Bush was to blame. you've had three years to find a cure. But instead you keep piling on National debt. We can not afford you anymore, BIG SPENDER.

    February 1, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Silvance

    Nothing says "unpopular Republican candidate" like winning the caucus in Florida and New Hampshire.

    February 1, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. sam101

    Roomney made his fortune by laying off middle class families throughout united states..A great and Perfect candidate to be american president when americans are out of job because of foreighn workers and moving jobs overseas.He will be first president in the history of United States to retire with a billion..World has one example before with Italian Billionaire elected as prime minister 3 years but impeached 3 months ago with the corruption and the wealth he accumulated during his term..

    February 1, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Gurgi

    @Tom Pain, agree to disagree. The GOP policies you speak of did not "drive us into the ditch." But I will speak from personal experience, I have always done better when GOP was in office and poorer when democrats were in control. That being said, I will admit to being forced to vote for Clinton his second term, even though I considered him an embarassment to this country. He was the lesser to two evils. I think we really need a third party. Or better yet, people need to be randomly chosen to serve in congress, the senate and as the president. Modest salary and benefits. No more "career politicians" and no more lobyists, any of that. That would be the best solution for governing this country. Just my opinion.

    February 1, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Chumlee

    Money and politics: Mittens is so out of touch.

    Hopefully voters are smarter than this and can see between all of the GOP bs

    February 1, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. CoJo

    from what I'm reading on the interent (using an article from Wall Stree Journal), Health care is a hot topic again. People want specifics not the generic statement "buy insurance in an open market". The article header is "Saving Retiree Health Plans". People want specifics. Kill Obamacare ? fine, do if if you can. But what is to replace it. Companies have already started to cancel health insurances. Insurance cost are going up for less coverage. Health costs themselves are going up. If you have pre-existing conditions, get ready, no coverage for that, you are on your won. So repeal Obamacare if yu can, but replace it with what?

    February 1, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Don

    Welcome to the Gordie Howe of modern American politics. Remember Gordie? He was a great hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings. I went to a game one year and thought he was marvelous...always grinning and seeming just a great guy, until a friend pointed out I should watch him when the puck was on the other side of the rink. He was the dirtiest player I have ever seen. jabbing, high sticking whacking and blind-siding people, but grinning and completely innocent as soon as the refs looked his way.

    Romney!

    February 1, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. sifleut

    Romney represents corporations andtheir greed; why vote for someone that represents an establishment that got us into the mess we're in now and are buying the politicians?

    Obama 2012!!

    February 1, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. TJeff1776

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH NEGATIVE ADS ? The real question should be- are they true OR false ???? Amazing
    the ways to falsely find fault. When a prosecutor has negative things to say against a defendant- is this always wrong ??

    February 1, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. tonyl

    Romney actually said "he is not worried about the poor. They have a safety net". He is worried about the millionaires who are paying 14% tax rate and he wants to help them to bring it lower. Go figure.

    February 1, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Independent Voters

    Romney just made a comment that he dont like poor people and wouldnt help poor people.
    What kind of politician would say that about poor people or any american.
    Romney is filthy rich and he dont care for middle class or poor people.

    February 1, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Rsprings

    It good to know Obama and his campaign crew on't favor negative ads...I assume the will stay positive. Yeah right!

    February 1, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Chipster

    Rudy NYC: Yes, he wrote that the most effective ad is a negative ad and isn't that true? Angry people are motivated people. Unfortunately, a lot of them also seem to be very angry about misinformation. They're angry about false or misleading information that they want to believe because it makes them feel like they're victims. Much of what Alinsky wrote is true but being true doesn't make it pretty. The fact is, Alinsky believed in democracy. He believed that people have the power to get things done if they organize their effort. What they do with that power may or may not be in their best interest but they can achieve it together. That's democracy in action.

    February 1, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Joan

    The ads or not only negatives, they are outright untrue. Nothing they say in these ads are what really happens. How is this helping us to decide which of these candidates has the heart and mind for the people and the Country. Say all
    you want about Mr. Obama, but he is the most honest off all. When you can hide from a theif you can't hide from a
    liar.

    February 1, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Gurgi

    @tonyl,,,way to take a statement out of context, stereotypical liberal, you make intelligent liberals look bad. Romney said the poor have a safety net and if holes are discovered he will fix them.

    February 1, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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