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. Susan

    Romney 2012 ! No more broken Promises.

    April 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. harvey 60

    thanks for using the analogy of a gun going off, you NRA clone

    April 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. WatchDawg

    @John,

    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.
    ---------------

    Would those be the 700,000 jobs lost monthly under the GOP (Bush) or the 47th place ranking by then Gov Mitt...

    April 27, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Sniffit

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

    Really? And what, SPECIFICALLY, has he said he is going to do about them? What, SPECIFICALLY, are the solutions he is proposing?

    *crickets*

    April 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Marty

    Say what you want, but Romney fixes broken companies and the U.S. is broken.
    Obama= Socialism, Class warfare , high debt and broken promises.

    April 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Lili

    Off with a bang....ummmmm Susan, you can't be talking about Romney, King of the Flip Flopper when you refer to no more broken promises! ! I don't believe a word he mumbles.......and just to be clear, all politicians break promises after they get your vote!

    April 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Dave

    Facts about our current administration:
    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)

    April 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney is off with 'a bang' then came CRASHING DOWN in 60secs like the North Korean missile launch!!!

    When is Etch-a-Sketch Mitt going to put on his FLIP FLOPS and grow a pair and STOP hiding behind surrogates & Ann Romney back?

    still waiting on Mitt to put out his policy agenda...maybe Karl Rove & the Koch Brothers are still typing up his talking point memo!!!!

    April 27, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Mgc tampa

    Susan, you are right, no broken promises from Romney, he will just continue to change positions dailyl!

    April 27, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Then you have not been watching lately. Mitt Romney starts with a 20% tax reduction for every working American. "

    Absolute nonsense that would explode both the deficit and the debt. The numbers don't lie. Moreover, he hasn't said anything specific whatsoever about how it would be implemented...he runs away like a sissy whenever asked "and what would you cut?" The man is full of something, but it's not answers. "Everyone gets a 20% tax cut!!!!" is basically the same as telling your children they can have as much ice cream as they want for dinner and then handing them ice cream made with vegemite and beetles.

    April 27, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Ted

    Must be that Team Romney are the only people hearing that loud "bang". Too much wild cheering going on every time President Obama speaks. Could that be what it is that is drowning out the bang that only Team Romney claims to hear?

    April 27, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Canuck
    ...What a bunch of bs. What do you base these observations on?
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    His experience as both a governor ( MA loved him ) and a successful businessman who founded a private equity firm that has saved tens of thousands of American jobs. Quite a contrast with a community organizer, junior Senator and academic lawyer who has no real experience with the real economy. Obama's attempts at recovering the economy were disasters. He has done nothing but run up the debt with each new attempt. His new ideas? There are none. He wants to just keep trying to buy the economy back to life. Grow government and raise taxes to fund it. No thanks.

    Mitt Romney knows that private companies are what the economy is all about and not big government. The economy has been smothered by excessive knee-jerk regulation and among the highest federal taxes in the world. American companies have a great disadvantage in the world economy because of the federal government. In order for American companies to grow and create jobs, the federal government needs to allow that to happen. Mitt Romney can make the government more efficient, accountable and successful in helping the economy to grow. This will help all Americans now and in the future. There is a lot of work to get there and Obama is not the guy. Mitt Romney is.

    April 27, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Ted

    Time for Americans to get their ears checked, if only Team Romney is hearing that BANG!

    April 27, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. NotFooledByDistractions

    Mr. Romneys New Hampshire speech was dripping in cynicism and condescension – lies and distortions. Sounds like a great romney bumpersticker – Cynicism and condescension – lies and distortions. romney 2012. Cynicism and condescension – lies and distortions – are the only consistencies in his campaign to date.

    I don't trust romney as far as I could kick him, and I find it surprising that any working class Americans could vote for him and the policies he supports – like the ryan budget and the bush economic ideology (with "updates") that caused the biggest economic disaster this country has seen since the depression. Romney simply can't be trusted, he's not an honest man.

    April 27, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Jack

    Anybody hear a bang? I mean, anybody besides Team Romney.

    April 27, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    Pam from Iowa
    A Republican got us into this recession....and a Republican is not going to get us out of it!!!!
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Sorry Pam. Barney Frank was a Democrat.

    April 27, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    Then you have not been watching lately. Mitt Romney starts with a 20% tax reduction for every working American. .....
    -------------–
    Cutting 20% would also bump the annual deficit up by $1 trillion, which Romney has no plans to pay for.
    Romney also eliminates capital gains which would make his effective rate near zero.
    Trickle down tax cuts do not create jobs. Time to put that lie to bed.

    Suppose that I own a company that make hand made widgets. One person can make roughly 25 widgets per month, my monthly sales averages 80-95 widgets, and so I employ 4 widget makers. BAM! I get a 20% tax cut, and my profits go up. Why would I hire another widget maker? i wouldn't.

    April 27, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. David

    This empty suit needs to stop bashing the President and start giving us specifics. It is easier to criticize than to propose solutions it would seem.

    April 27, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. Marlena

    Most Americans would have to be going to their ear doctors and get their hearing checked big time if that bang went off. LOL As if Romney could excite anybody other than alexithemic Ann.

    April 27, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    "One side has a clear rationale for running for president, while the other has no discernible message or agenda. "
    ------------------
    Mitt Romney's message is what exactly? "President Obama has failed." Di-di-Diidi. That's all, folks.

    April 27, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Don

    If CISPA goes through the senate and Obama doesn't veto, I'll vote for the Etch a Sketch. Otherwise, Romney can go suck a flip flop.

    April 27, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. aalisa31

    Mitt is just that... an empty hand mitt

    April 27, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Adam

    "And we're off with a lie!" If you aren't better off today then you were 4 years its because the collapse had not reached you yet. Its like a volcano that was bubbling from 2005-2008 that finally exploded in Sept. 2008, and the lava didn't reach your house until 2009-2010. Of course, Obama was in office by that time so naturally that means that this catastrophe was his fault....stop being simple minded people. It took America 12 years to dig out of the Great Depression. What we were facing given the interconnectedness of the world was far, far graver, believe me, i saw Lehman and Bear Stearns die (100yr companies). I won't list PBO's accomplishments, but be glad he saved Detroit, b/c financial Dr. Romney's prescription would've meant a unemployment rate of 13%, which by now might, i repeat might be sub 10% by now.

    April 27, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. aalisa31

    I am soooooooooo wondering why Mitt's own party just simply ACCEPT him, they don't even like him. That say alot about the repplican party, they will vote in someone they don't like just becasue they can't stand Obama. What a sad group of individuals.

    April 27, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. PJ/TX

    "...positive vision for a better America.."
    Pretty words, no substance. WHAT ARE HIS PLANS? Still no answers, just waffling, "we'll get back to you",
    "we're looking at that", blah blah blah.
    Better stay off SNL, Mitt, you were stiff as a board giving those "Top Ten" on Letterman. It was painful to watch.
    Even Bush did better when he appeared on "Deal or No Deal" and "Dr. Phil" – not to mention Nixon saying
    "Sock it to Me" – ain't google a wonderful thing?

    April 27, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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