Republican group defends Romney from Democratic 'goofy spin'
January 10th, 2012
05:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Republican group defends Romney from Democratic 'goofy spin'

(CNN) - American Crossroads, an independent Republican group, swatted back Democratic attacks against Mitt Romney Tuesday that claim the Republican presidential frontrunner is unable to excite more than a quarter of the GOP.

"The truth? The 25% level of support we're seeing with Romney is a floor, not a ceiling," Jonathan Collegio, the group's communications director, wrote in a memo.

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Democratic groups, as well as President Barack Obama's re-election team, have recently taken aim at Romney's results from the Iowa caucuses, in which he essentially tied with Rick Santorum with 25% of support, edging out the former Pennsylvania senator by a margin of only eight votes.

"I mean, it's clear there are a majority of Republicans who are resistant to (Romney). He only got a quarter of the vote in Iowa," Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Priorities USA and American Bridge 21st Century, two Democratic groups backing Obama's re-election bid, as well as the Democratic National Committee have also downplayed Romney's Iowa win as being mired at 25%.

But Crossroads, a group founded by Karl Rove and who's political director, Carl Forti, also works as a senior strategist for the pro-Romney super PAC "Restore Our Future," characterized the Democratic attacks as misleading.

"With Mitt Romney, as opposed to virtually every other candidate in the GOP field this cycle, the difference is that his negatives (all candidates have them) are already widely known and built into his level of support," Collegio said.

Collegio pointed to other Republican candidates who surged to the top of the field but failed to maintain their frontrunner status when faced with an onslaught of attacks from their opponents.

For Romney, who's making his second run for president, Collegio argued there is nowhere to go but up.

"There is very little out there about Romney that Republican voters don't already know that could significantly affect his support," he wrote.

Crossroads said its defense of the former Massachusetts governor is not an endorsement and maintains it will stay neutral during the Republican presidential primary.

"However, American Crossroads is 100% opposed to all goofy spin against GOP candidates coming from Obama, his surrogates and the DNC," Collegio added.

Romney advocates may soon tout a number higher than 25%, as Romney is expected to win New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary by a wide margin on Tuesday. Recent polls showed Romney hovering at or around 37% in the Granite State.

Priorities, USA also sent a memo Tuesday, criticizing Crossroads for rushing to Romney's side.

"For Rove, helping the favored candidate of Wall Street is an important sign of trust for the billionaire executives that Rove relies on for contributions. For Romney, earning Rove's embrace is the successful culmination of six-years of saying anything to win the support of the Washington Republican establishment," Bill Burton, the group's senior strategist, said in the memo.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Also see:

Romney pushes back after protesters interrupt rally

Romney, Huntsman tie in midnight New Hampshire vote

Palin endorses (Todd, that is)

The context of Romney's remarks under 'fire'

Filed under: 2012 • American Crossroads • David Axelrod • DNC • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Priorities USA
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Yea, the tea party crowd really loves Romney. Not. Hahaha.

    January 10, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Innkahoots

    Glass half full kind of thinking, to bad the glass is only quarter full.

    January 10, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. NC

    Get in line is what they mean. Why even bother to vote. The ebstablishment has decided who they want. To heck with the people.

    January 10, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Seems to me it's Mitt's fellow Rethuglicans who are promoting the alleged" goofy spin" - the film paid for by Gingrich (after Huntsman's people passed on it) would appear to be a prime example. Of course, Karl and Co. don't want to admit that Rs eat their young.

    January 10, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    another C-Pac group with money have to come to the defense of Mitt. Meanwhile they are planning a big pow-pow down here in Texas with so-called religious right conservatives to see who they can support OTHER than Romney. Pretty sad when your own party doesn't care for it's frontrunner.

    January 10, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. victimhood

    Romney has solid support. Dems hate that.

    January 10, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Tony

    I seem to remember that Romney's poll numbers have stayed at 25% or lower. If 25% is the floor of support for Romney, then his poll numbers must have fallen through the floor.

    As for the assertion that Romney's negatives are already widely known and built into his level of support, have people seen the picture of Romney and his Bain Capital colleagues holding paper money in their hands or mouths?

    January 10, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Mitt and Newt are as exciting as a wet towel.

    January 10, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    so why doesn't this group go after the REAL attackers of Mitt Romney which so far have been members of the Republican Party? The Democrats and Obama right now don't really need to attack Mitt Romney..the Repubs along with Newt and Huntsman are doing a fine job. I just hope somebody at the DNC is good with editing sound bites and film clips.

    January 10, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. diridi

    Bain Capital fired people and shipped jobs overseas. In business, firing people is not bad if they are bad., but shipping jobs overseas, having taken tax shelters, declaring bankruptcies, making all money for greed, is bad, worse, and worst!!!!! War, and Trickle down created this mess of Unemployment, and Debt....true, true, and true....Obama2012.

    January 10, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Florida Joe

    A floor not a ceiling.......... Hmmm, I guess it could be true. After all, it could be Mitt's top floor in a 6 inch high attic.

    January 10, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. bullock w

    I m support for presdient Roomey 2012

    January 10, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Perhaps Karl knows more than he's telling us ... Perry was a Democrat and switched to Republican, yes we all know that. Apparently Rove's suggesting that Perry's gone back to being a Democrat (running on a Republican ticket)? And, poor Newt. Here he's been trying to convince everyone he's the "true conservative", yet he too has been hammering away at Mitt's Bain days. No wonder GOPers all seem confused. Even the powers that be who control the party don't know who's who, or who stands for what anymore.

    January 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Jilli

    I think that even for the "we hate Obama" crowd, romney is a tough sell.

    Heck, I've seen eggplants with more personality and authenticity than willard romney. His history with bain will not be a positive – not in this economy. If there's a face to be painted depicting greedy slimeballs...Willard could be the model. He's not a "job creator" – he's a wealth creator – there's a huge difference.

    January 10, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Studly Hungwell

    Romney is in the lead but disliked by 75% of the evangelical republicans. Will his running mate be someone like Palin or someone competent like Huntsman?

    January 10, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Donkey Party

    Was it "goofy spin" when Romney's first attack ad against President Obama showed a clip of Obama quoting John McCain, but the Romney ad making it look as though they were Obama's words? And people wonder why Rove and his ilk are so despised?

    January 10, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Bill

    This fake will never get more than 25% of the vote, no matter what his SuperPac friends say.

    January 10, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Obama and the Democrats are desperately trying to cover up the fact that a majority of Americans do NOT support the re-election of Obama. They are trying DESPERATELY to blunt Romney's sure footed march to the Whitehouse to replace him. The American people have seen the competence and intelligence of Romney and his knowledge of how the greatest economy on the planet works. The "Hope & Change" and "Great Uniter" delusion of Obama has been burst. The American people know that the country simply cannot endure four more years of the Obama Disaster. Hope and Change IS coming and it will be in the form of Mitt Romney come January 2013. Our long socialist nightmare will end and our country will get back on track thanks to Romney.

    January 10, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Bootstomper

    Can't wait tell the general election when his 10,000 dollar bet and enjoyment in firing people hit the air waves.

    January 10, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Mikey

    25% of 25% (the GOP) sounds like 6% to me. He's going to have to do a lot better to even begin to challenge the President. He is very unsteady in the debates and none of the guys he is up against are as good as President Obama. It seems easy to get Romney rattled and he comes off very badly when he gets rattled or angry. It should be very fun if the GOP actually nominates Willard Mitt Romney. The flip-floppin chameleon. The venture capital parasite. The consummate corporate brown-noser. Mr. Pink Slip.

    January 10, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Bootstomper - Can't wait tell the general election when his 10,000 dollar bet and enjoyment in firing people hit the air waves.
    An incumbent President with a 4 YEAR record and THIS is what you think he should be running ads about??? BWAHAHAHA!!! Talk about an outright admission of FAILURE!!!! We're electing the President of the United States, not the junior high president. You can be SURE Romney will be running ads about Obama's failure to grow jobs and the economy but Obama's GREAT success in growing government, federal spending, the deficit, the debt, inflation, etc.

    But no problem, you whacky lefties just keep throwing up this nonsense while the Republicans pummel Obama with his words, deeds and record.

    January 10, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |