Obama campaign: Romney won Florida on negative ads
February 1st, 2012
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama campaign: Romney won Florida on negative ads

(CNN) – One day after Mitt Romney’s Florida primary win, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign remains focused on painting the former Massachusetts governor as an unpopular Republican candidate.

In a memo addressed to interested parties and given to CNN by the campaign, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter attributed Romney's victory to the bombardment of negative ads run in the state by his campaign, as well as by the super PAC supportive of his candidacy, Restore Our Future.

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“It’s difficult for Romney to claim Floridians voted for him rather than against his opponents, since less than one-tenth of one percent of the ads in Florida promoted Romney positively,” Cutter wrote.

The contest in Florida has been the most negative campaign on record, according to a group tracking political ads in the Sunshine State. Analysis from Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) shows a whopping 92% of ads airing in Florida over the past week were negative.

Of the 3,276 ads Romney’s campaign ran, 99% were attacking another candidate. Meanwhile, all of the 4,969 spots from Restore Our Future were negative.

In the memo, Cutter argued Romney has poor favorability ratings among independents and said the former governor will have a tough time as he heads to western states that hold their contests in the coming weeks.

“As the Republican race now moves to Nevada, Romney’s out-of-touch positions on housing, seniors’ health and immigration – as well as his lonely support of the Yucca Mountain project Nevadans overwhelmingly oppose and President Obama ended – will continue to repel the very voters who will decide the White House,” Cutter wrote.

Also see:

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Florida primary 'the most negative campaign ever,' says media group

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Stephanie Cutter
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    rob wrote:

    This was nothing more than Obama campaign SPIN. Note how CNN treats it like news analysis, what a joke.
    Actually, CNN didn't do the story justice. The story cites how many ads came from the Romney campaign, and his largest superPAC. When you look at numbers from *all* groups, then the extent of the "carpet bombing" that Gingrich complained about becomes clear. How many ads were run in the week all totaled? The pro-Gringrich groups ran just over 200. The pro-Romney groups ran well over 12,000.

    February 1, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    the problem, Gurgi, is that the PACs were created to get around the first efforts to reform campaign finance in the 1970s. Unfortuantely, all that it proved is that people will get very creative in an effort to get around the letter of the law while violating its spirit. There are so many things that could be accomplished if these folks bothered to put their money into something more than attack ads for people of questionable character. Unfortunately, people will be people, and those that have the money, access, and influence will use it because they mistake their needs for the good of the nation. The amount of money required to run for office is staggering, and it never ensures that the people who run are actually qualified and have the intelligence to see beyond their own parochial interests: both parties have their share of buffoons, and both have decent people who genuinely love service. Its just depressing to see people define themselves by what/who they are against, and not what they are for: that does not even begin to touch the ads both sides run depicting their opponants as enemies of mankind.

    February 1, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    What dismal comments coming from the right. One wonders who these people represent – Romney supporters or paid FOX trolls. They change their names so often, it's hard to tell who is who anymore. Unfortunately for many, the White House really is for sale.

    February 1, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. ART

    All Obama has to do is continue to show the three faces of Romney. How can you trust someone who has been on every side of every issue. What does he stand for.

    February 1, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. peggy

    I do not like Republicans as I have no idea how they think, what type of hearts they have and what type of bible they read but I must say, that of the four, Santorum would be the nominee had he had the money behind him, albeit he will not win the presidency but that's o.k. as I believe that none of them will. Santorum spent nothing in Florida, yet receiver 13% of the votes which is remarkable.

    February 1, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. edmundburkeson

    The President would never go negative would he??? Obama doesn't even need a campaign to go negative. He blames Bush for everything. Which leads some to believe that he has never really gotten out of campaign mode ever since the inaugural address.

    February 1, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Gurgi

    Tom, I agree with everything you just said.

    February 1, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Gurgi

    Anonymous, "Unfortunately for many, the White House really is for sale.".........Agreed.

    February 1, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. WhereIsPalin

    Money and negativity......US politics at its best.

    February 1, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Ann

    This will be a landslide victory for Obama.

    February 1, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. conrad

    The field of GOP candidates is so weak its shocking. A vote for any one of them is a waste.

    February 1, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Gimcy

    Peggy, you don't live in Pennsylvania, do you? Ask someone from that state what they think of Santorum...and why they voted him OUT of office...

    February 1, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. conrad

    Mitt Romney's platform is ... to become President.

    February 1, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Eli

    Just a few weeks ago Obama said he and his team refuse to watch or comment on the GOP campaign. I guess they were either lying or are concerned about Romney.

    February 1, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Riptim

    Sooner or later Romney is going to have to take a stand on what he believes, instead of just babbling nonsense. When he does that it will be all over for him. Obama is going to hammer him every minute of every day for specifics, and thats when he will fall apart. Its easy to crtisize but tough to stand on piniciple, and Romney can`t do that no flip flopper can thats why Obama will win.

    February 1, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. FLIndpendent

    Watching TV in Florida has been intolerable these past few weeks with all the negativity. It became more obvious than ever that neither Mitt or Newt have anything new to say and certainly don't have any ideas to move our country forward and fix the problems. President Obama is on the right path and we need him for another term to continue to right the ship. Also, look at all the diversity in this picture (not)...that says it all!

    February 1, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Carlin123

    Why would the black Obama slam the white Obama? Either way your going to get a larger government with more war and a failing economy.

    February 1, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Taylor

    Obama did not lie to McCain......for those who are against the president , just ask yourself what have the GOP done for you lately ??????? Some of your comments are old news. They nail the president to the cross and he is still standing.
    I think that some of you just dont like him, but he has done great things for the country. Some of his policy I don't agree on, but i will vote for him again. So put your thinker cap and think for yourself. There's something about Mitt that is not right. He has no heart or soul and can not see beyond his nose. Some of you voted for him in 2008 and will not vote for him in 2012.....ask yourself way. Just think about it.

    February 1, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Eric

    Gee the guy who will say anything to be elected has to outspend Newt 5 to 1 to be the lesser of 2 evils. GOP is in deep trouble.

    February 1, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. howard

    You have to ask yourself, why Obama's campaign wrote this. They are afraid of Romney. They want the weakest Republican chosen in August to make their job easier.

    Cutter is wrong about Nevada. He will sweep the Sagebrush State no problem. He will take most western states too. It just shows you how out-of-touch HIS campaign is.

    February 1, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. KM

    Gingrich had this coming based upon his campaign methods in SC. Honestly, I love how one candidate poo-poos another one for using negative ads. Obviously, based upon the results negative ads work and those who complain about them will be the same ones who use them to try to get the same advantage. Obama can sit above the fray now because he doesn't face any real opposition...yet.

    February 1, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Hark

    Obviously this is a left leaning crowd..you guys are the rats following the Pied Piper. Be careful what you wish for.... Even out here in liberal Washington State its amazing and quite satisfying to see and hear the people who voted for Obama in '08 question the decisions he has made. They said they won't make that mistake again. The country got sucked in by this great speaker who has very little substance. By the way , you think that Florida was negative...you are right. But it is nothing compared to the cheap and dirty politics that will come up from the Illinois Machine when Axelrod(puke) and his cronies get the dems going! Looking forward to November.

    February 1, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. smith

    Yes, Obama has lied since being elected. The democratic primary with Hillary and Obama was pretty harsh. And Obama was the one who claimed her health care model was unconstitutional, the same health care model he is now using for Obamacare. It should be named HillaryCare, since it was her idea.

    I suppose obama is feeling insecure if he feels he has to jump in now. I suppose "obama lite" is getting to him.

    February 1, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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