Washington (CNN) – In the face of a barrage of negative ads about Bain Capital–as well as calls from Republicans for Mitt Romney to release more years of tax returns–expect the Romney campaign to launch a multipronged offensive to fight back.
There is some acknowledgement inside the campaign, according to sources, that the attacks by the Obama re-election team have begun to drive up Romney's negative ratings. While the national horserace numbers have not moved, there is a sense that the underlying numbers are showing some changes–and not in a good way.
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The Romney campaign, which has been outspent by more than 3-1 in key battleground states, intends to start its own ad onslaught.
"This gap (in advertising) won't exist forever," says one source close to the campaign.
After Democrats last week pounced on the issue of when Romney left his job as head of Bain, Team Romney released three different commercials attacking the president's re-election campaign for its tactics.
Campaign surrogates have been briefed on going after Obama for so-called "crony capitalism" and giving preferential treatment to his donors, a charge his advisers categorically deny.
One surrogate reports that, oddly enough, he had not been briefed on how to respond to the attacks on Bain Capital and taxes. The campaign is in overdrive trying to turn the page and start going on offense, with the candidate himself making the case Tuesday that Obama has been bad for small business and doesn't understand what drives Americans.
"I'm convinced he wants Americans to be ashamed of success," Romney said in Irwin, Pennsylvania.
Team Obama expects to win Pennsylvania, as have Democratic presidential candidates since 1992. The Romney campaign, however, claims it has more of a shot at Pennsylvania than did Sen. John McCain–because of Romney's appeal to suburban women.
Some Republicans believe that, in order to break out of this bad cycle, Romney needs to change the subject to something bigger–like his vision for the economy.
"I would move on with economic vision for the country," says one senior GOP strategist. "How about calling on Congress to stay in through August, get a solution to the fiscal cliff and elevate the debate?"