Team Romney: We're off with 'a bang'
April 27th, 2012
11:58 AM ET
2 years ago

Team Romney: We're off with 'a bang'

(CNN) – Mitt Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades on Friday issued his first memo analyzing the state of the race for the White House now that Romney is the presumptive nominee, in which he took aim at President Barack Obama's handling of the economy.

Fresh off the news the economy grew at a slower-than-expected rate of 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012 (from January to March, according to initial estimates from the Commerce Department), Rhoades contrasted Romney's Tuesday night speech that he said painted a "positive vision for a better America" with Obama's actions this week, which he said included "slow-jamming the news" and picking a fight over student loans.

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"The Obama campaign is like one of those gyrating, intermittent lawn sprinklers, spewing out attacks in seemingly random directions, hoping to get somebody wet somewhere but hoping even more to talk about anything but the unemployment rate, federal debt, gas prices, or rising health insurance premiums," Rhoades wrote. "In his New Hampshire remarks, Governor Romney dubbed this a campaign of 'diversions, distortions and distractions' but noted it wouldn't work. 'It's still about the economy – and we're not stupid.'"

Full memo:

Friend,

Elections are about choices.

This past week previewed the stark contrast facing voters in this election. Governor Romney's speech Tuesday night in New Hampshire contained a crisp and specific critique of President Obama's policy failures and his own positive vision for a better America.

The speech left the Obama campaign sputtering – with even David Axelrod offering praise. In fifteen minutes, Governor Romney dismantled the myths of "hope and change" with the reality of a failed record that even the President and his campaign are struggling to defend.

President Obama's stagnant, government-centered economy has depressed growth and the American spirit of natural optimism. At a time when a campaign just emerging from a long primary should be struggling, Governor Romney has rapidly unified support and begun to capture the imagination of the country with his vision of a pro-growth economy that will lift us out of the Obama doldrums. It was a big speech to mark a big win that begins a big debate about big things.

President Obama, on the other hand, spent the week slow-jamming the news, striking a Heisman pose, and trying to pick a fight over student loans to help the one-in-two recent college graduates who are either jobless or underemployed as a result of his policies (which is apparently really funny stuff to the President). Unfortunately for him, Republicans agree with the need for a temporary extension, but want it paid for by cutting spending rather than raising taxes. So instead of the fight he was hoping for, he got a debate over taxes and spending – which he wasn't hoping for.

But changing a presidential schedule is not easy, so Obama pressed on anyway with "official" events to attack his political opponents in swing states with target voters 18-29 years of age that he did well with in 2008 but whose support is waning in 2012. His campaign team then announced in a hastily-arranged Wednesday night conference call that his re-election campaign would begin on May 5th (as if the President hasn't been campaigning for re-election non-stop for a year now).

In making this announcement, the Chicago crowd was consistent with what has been a remarkably flailing campaign with no discernible rationale for candidacy. We now know that only one campaign is going to run on President Obama's record of the past three-and-a-half years in office – and it's not the Obama campaign. Without the ability to run on a record of achievement, the incumbent is reduced to a campaign based on scattershot attacks on Governor Romney in particular and Republicans in general.

The Obama campaign is like one of those gyrating, intermittent lawn sprinklers, spewing out attacks in seemingly random directions, hoping to get somebody wet somewhere but hoping even more to talk about anything but the unemployment rate, federal debt, gas prices, or rising health insurance premiums.

In his New Hampshire remarks, Governor Romney dubbed this a campaign of "diversions, distortions and distractions" but noted it wouldn't work. "It's still about the economy – and we're not stupid."

The Obama campaign's calculation is understandable, given the current polling data:

* The president's job approval remains mired below 50%. (46% – Fox News Poll, April 22-24)

* Most Americans believe the country is still in a recession. (83% – Fox News Poll, April 22-24)

* People strongly think the country is moving in the wrong direction. (59% – NBC News/WSJ Poll, April 13-17)

* Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe Obama's policies have either hurt economic conditions in the country or had no impact. (63% – NBC News/WSJ Poll, April 13-17)

* Less than one-third of Americans believe that if President Obama is re-elected, economic conditions in the country will be helped. (31% – NBC News/WSJ Poll, April 13-17)

But this is not just about statistics. As Governor Romney said in New Hampshire, "Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Do you pay less at the pump?"

Voters have grown disenchanted with President Obama's policies and fear what he would do in a second term. Sensing this, the President's re-election campaign avoids defending their stimulus and health care bills and refuses to say what a second Obama-Biden term would mean in terms of the policies they'd offer. (There should be a reward for anyone who can find an agenda for Obama's second term.)

So the general election begins with a bang on one side and a whimper on the other. One side has a clear rationale for running for president, while the other has no discernible message or agenda. Governor Romney and his campaign seek to make this election about big choices affecting our future, while President Obama and his team want to make it a very small election about dogs, tax returns and his winning TV persona.

Of course, this election will be decided by adults casting ballots in their precincts, not teenagers texting votes from in front of their television sets. That apparently frightens the President and his advisors right now.

Thanks,

Matt Rhoades
Campaign Manager

P.S. Governor Romney has the right vision and message for America – now we need to make sure Americans hear it. Donate $5 today to help Mitt fight for a better America.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    More like a fart. Guess that's why "someone" always has her nose turned up.

    April 27, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Team Romney: We're off with 'a bang'...."

    Apparently not or CNN wouldn't have been forced to publish TeamRomney's "Friend" memo free of charge, including the cute little ending post script. Too, too transparent. Even for CNN.

    April 27, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Novote4republicansin2012

    What bang. I been online and I know Mitt has secret websites that condone to bashing the POTUS

    April 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Mary

    To the author: No, thanks.

    OBAMA 2012!!!! :-)

    April 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    LOL – more like a fizzle and a wimper! When is Robmey actually going to commit to anything – other than the ridiculous Ryan budget! The last thing we need is more of the 1% ruling for the 1%. The GOP has no platform, no solutions (other than going back to what caused this mess in the first place), no viable candidate and no chance in Nov!!

    April 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    The Romney campaign, and its' surrogates, has established a reputation for itself for making misleading and deceptive criticisms of Pres. Obama.

    Gas prices? The prices fell because demand collapsed. Besides, it still doesn't cost as much as it did under Bush.
    Health insurance premiums? They rose faster under George W. Bush, folks. On average 15-25% per year.
    Unemployment? The rate was 7.8% the week Pres. Obama was sworn in, and we were losing 750,000 per month.

    Debt? Republicans don't want to admit that the final deficit for George W. Bush was $1.5T, nor the fact that the deficit has been lower than the previous year for every year Obama has been in office. The Bush administration left the economy in the intensive care unit, and walked away saying, "do nothing."

    April 27, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. ST

    I am hesitant to give team Romney any advice because I do not belong there. If this is the way they are coming up to win, with much regret they should count themselves out.

    April 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Independant Texan

    Sounds more like a blowout on the Mittmobile to me !!!!! ( I`ll bet you $10,000)------ Bil Ladin`s dead, GM`s alive. Nuf said.....................

    April 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Nobodies Pon

    Give me a break, really a bang .This guy beat a loony tune(Paul) and a moon traveler (Newt) and brags about it. The guy is so out of touch. Romney talk about something you did all by yourself with no help from anyone.Please have one solution besides Obamas failed policy that line of attack is old and wore out.

    April 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Mitt Romney is well on his way to win in November and it can't come soon enough. Unfortunately we will have to endure 6 more months of Obama politicking across the country trying each day to invent new issues while doing nothing to fix the ones that Americans are most concerned about. The economy. Federal debt. Unemployment. These are the real issues and the ones that only Mitt Romney understands and is capable of fixing.

    Romney 2012 and as many Republican Senators as we can get seated!

    April 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    I see the flip flopper doesn't have anything new to say
    Sorry bishop butnthe President slow jamming the news was priceless. You jealous? Your pathetic singing at the villages in Florida was because the President did a very mini sexy rendition of an Al Green song.
    Then again, aren't you thinking of being psrt of SNL? How is that different?
    Face it clown. Nothing you do is real, feels real you are a robot!!

    April 27, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He has the vision of corporation doing what they want and hurting the rest of the country. I can see what he does let companies ship jobs over seas. I can see him letting those with the upper incomes get all the tax breaks. That is some bang. It is the bang of the economy going down because the wealthy don't invest here in their fellow Americans.

    April 27, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Back slapping Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney on the back already?! LOL

    Still waiting on Mitt to grow a pair and put out his policy agenda....what vision? All I am hearing is Mitt Romney hiding behind Ann Romney's back and throwing cheap shots at President Obama!!!

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney can attack but he can't hide from his FLIP FLOPS, OUT OF TOUCH & SEVERELY CONSERVATIVE RECORDS...

    April 27, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. John, PA

    Elections are about choice and the November 2012 election is coming, it’s simple,
    vote Democratic and continue the historic debt and depression with Obama.
    vote Republican for jobs and prosperity.

    April 27, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Jay

    Mitt has no plans, except tax cuts for his rich buddies, and the same old Obama bashing.

    April 27, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Moderate Sean

    "A [loud] bang" eh? But fortunately, that bang is then followed by an even louder horendous crash!!! America can then express a sigh of relief....

    April 27, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. coy4one

    So, since the GOP has now established a history of demanding birth certificates, when will Mitt Romney be supplying the public with a copy of his?

    April 27, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Take this BANG Etch-a-Sketch Mitt!!!

    Gallup Poll – Obama Now at 50% Job Approval; Leads Romney, 49% to 42%

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows President Obama earning 47% of the vote, while likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney picks up support from 46%.

    April 27, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ
    ...I can see him letting those with the upper incomes get all the tax breaks.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Then you have not been watching lately. Mitt Romney starts with a 20% tax reduction for every working American. The only tax changes you will see from Obama are tax increases. And a second Obama term will guarantee tax increases for every working American. I think working 110 days every year for federal taxes is already too much. What do you think? We can do better.

    Romney 2012

    April 27, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. WatchDawg

    Again...Mitt tells us nothing about his plans...he really is an empty suit...

    April 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Canuck

    @Four
    " These are the real issues and the ones that only Mitt Romney understands and is capable of fixing."

    What a bunch of bs. What do you base these observations on? The Republicans had their chance 2001-2008 and look what happened – what would Romney do that's any different? Obama has many faults but he's head and shoulders above the GOP goon show.

    April 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. J.E.

    Bang. Yeh, like the "bang" of all four tires blowing out at the same time.

    April 27, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hey, CNN. I have a post script of my own to add:

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    And for all you bloggers who think Mitt Romney is going to come clean and give us details ... isn't going to happen. Not now. Not ever. He simply doesn't have any. Most CEO's demand full acceptance without argument. I suspect Romney is frustrated that he can't seem to get across to we the little people that he top dog, not us.

    April 27, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Pam from Iowa

    A Republican got us into this recession....and a Republican is not going to get us out of it!!!!

    April 27, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Woman In California

    Seriously, haven't we had enough of these on-line politicans? Everything this guy has been saying has come from some website or another.

    Obama 2012 – IF you want continued real and proven leadership.

    April 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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