Washington (CNN) - Tuesday afternoon was a good example of the message war being fought each day by the Republican National Committee.
President Barack Obama, at a speech in the nation's capital at the Newspaper Association of America, slammed the budget put out by congressional Republicans, calling it "so far to the right, it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal."
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And the president also criticized likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying "one of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced on Day One of his presidency. He said that he's very supportive of this new budget and he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget."
Before the president finished his comments, the RNC had already returned fire.
"President Obama should be ashamed of himself for trying to score cheap political points by attacking Republicans' plans to reduce the deficit and save future generations from a debt crisis of his own creation," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in statement blasted out by the party committee to political reporters email accounts.
Also in reporters in boxes, an RNC research email which slammed the president's record on dealing with the record debt and deficits.
As Obama spoke, the RNC live tweeted their opposition. And they put out web videos using clips of what they say were White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz struggling to explain why the Democrats didn't have a budget of their own.
It's all part of what the RNC says is their leaner yet speedier response efforts.
"While our candidates are out there everyday trying to make the case why they should be the nominee, we are taking the case to the administration in different ways," RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer tells CNN.
His team maps out the president's public appearances in advance, as well as those by Vice President Biden and other top administration officials, to be able to hopefully respond quickly and effectively.
"Every single time that this president travels, we're able to get a full on operation wrapped around him, trying to get his re-election team to respond and get them off their game for a day," adds Spicer. "We defend the brand and our number goal every day is Obama. I can tell you on a Monday what a Thursday looks like, where we know where the president's going, how we plan on hitting them, what video we're going to sketch out."
In the case of Obama's Tuesday speech, which was well covered by the media, Spicer says that the RNC was ready with a game plan: "When the president goes on television and gives a speech to the AP at noon, by two or three o'clock we're pumping out our response, pushing it out through social media, getting it out to the cable news networks."
One change from past cycles is that their video operation is now in-house. Spicer says that means they can put out videos quicker, and cheaper: "We're spending less money but doing things we've never done before."
Hours before the president's speech Biden traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to give an address on college affordability. During the question and answer session he was asked by a student about soaring gas prices. The vice president promised a brief answer, but then went into an 11 minute response. The RNC quickly pushed the episode on YouTube and flooded Twitter.
Before Biden's speech, the RNC held a conference call with Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia to offer a prebuttal. They say 15 Virginia reporters joined the call. The calls are a regular feature.
The rival effectively DNC practices many of the same tricks of the trade. But their mission is slightly different right now, as they've know all along who their presidential nominee would be in 2012.
The Republicans may soon officially know who their nominee will be, as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's lead over this GOP rivals grows with each primary contest.
When the party gets a nominee, things will most likely change a bit for the RNC, but for now, Spicer says the job for him and his team of 33 people is "to take the game and bring it to a new level."