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:

Gingrich camp pulled in $5 million in January

Video: Mitt Romney sings

Gingrich sued for using 'Eye of the Tiger' in campaign

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

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

    Obama's camp already playing the game. Of course they don't want negative ads – he just spent the last 4 years giving the republicans a butt load of ammo to fire at him. Now he'll cry – don't attack me – let's keep it clean. How soon they forget, he has bashed bush since he began running for president, now when the shoe is on the other foot, he's scared. Wake up America, Obama is no good, the Dem & Rep legislature is no good, – now is the time for someone who really means change America for the Better – not for themselves. America – hold your elected officials accountable for running America – not running into the ground. We all have to be fiscally responsible – so does our gov't. Income exceeds expenses = savings. Fair tax system, reduced gov't spending and an economy that will allow small buisness to grow – we can kiick any other nation's ass inthis game. But we must have elected leaders that follow the directions of the majority – not minority.

    February 1, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Scott Barnes

    It is quite obvious that the liberal media is out to taint the GOP candidates as much as possible.
    Insightful observation. It is aimed at convincing us that the "liberal media" ran the attack ads against the GOP candidates. Personally, I think the "liberal media" has been simply reporting what was in the ads. And now, this article is reporting what the Obama campaign thinks about the ads. There have been similar articles in the "conservative medai" and then some.

    February 1, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Slimdolla

    Some of you who believe in the Republicans....thinking they will help you....is disconnected from realty, statistics, history, and your own best interest. Its like you don't care that life will be more difficult for yourselves let alone your families. Obama is not perfect by no means but I'm convinced his intentions are aimed at improving all of our quality of life. I understand that if you are biased, discriminate, sexist, or extreme that any good intended for others unlike yourselves, you would rather have this country in a depression or recession because of the hate for someone different than you. Its a Godly shame you fell like that. 1% of Americans that are filty rich complaining about a fair share in paying taxes, you guys will still be able to get around in your private jets, limos, and have people serving you that probably underpaid anyway. I guess we are destined for another revolution, I was forced to be ready what about you.......

    February 1, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. The Cappy

    Meh. Obama and Hillary both ran pretty negative campaigns in their time, too. The two candidates who tried to eschew attacks on their Republican rivals suffered greatly as a result. Voters love their negativity.

    February 1, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  5. Wayshower

    It is unwise to vote for someone whom speaks nothing of what they will actually try to do as president to improve things, rather every time they speak, or have an ad it is to promote defamation of character of the competition. What exactly is he saying or promoting about himself to make people vote in his favor? All the guy does is insult the competition, and rarely speaks of what he will actually do if voted in as president.

    Voting for someone of this nature is foolish because if they choose to act like this as a candidate, which is without integrity, then how exactly do they expect him to act if he is voted in? Right now, he is coming off as a snake, so exactly why are people voting for him?

    February 1, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Chipster wrote:

    Then it hit me: Gingrich knows that most of his followers don't know and won't bother to learn about Saul Alinsky.
    Alinsky wrote a book that defined a set of rules for political candidates. Polticians in both parties thought the rules outlined in the book were a stroke of genius. Try this one on for size. "The most effective ad is a negative ad."

    February 1, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. A. Goodwin

    KCRick – Obama has hardly run his presidency on negatives. You didn't even watch the SOTU did you? Pathetic.

    February 1, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  8. A. Goodwin

    The Cappy – Actually, voters do not love negative ads. The 2008 elections proved that. But do negative ads work? Yes – look how John Kerry was painted as a flip-flopper and lost to Bush. And now Romney – the biggest flip-flopper of them ALL somehow will appeal to those who have a clue? I dont think so.

    February 1, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. CJPA

    To President Obama's campaign staff: Steady there – no need to comment on anything just yet. Stay out of the fray. They are doing a fine job destroying each other without "outside" interference. Just stay the course, stay positive, and stay on message with how the President will continue his progress!

    February 1, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. A. Goodwin

    Obama is going to clean the floor with Romney during the 3 debates. I really do not see a comparison there. Do you REALLY think Romney could give the same SOTU address as Obama did last week? Do you really think Romney could do better than Obama has? I'm not a huge Obama fan, but as an independent – the GOP contenders are shameful.

    February 1, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. mannycl

    Rommeny is the man to beat Obama. The liberal media should look at the dismal record of this president: national debt, unemployement, failed policies, he doesn't lead, he does not take any responsibilities. His answer is always "it Bush's fault." Mr. Obama your record speaks by itself.

    February 1, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. atypical

    "Restore our future" ? I for one, certainly don't envision going back but forward.
    I think Romney means to say, "Restore confidence to the elite."
    Do we realize that we don't have democracy, that we aren't a capitalist society. We are an oligarchy. This county is run by a few elite with the power that money brings.
    And I'm tired of all the talk about the SIZE of government. Perhaps the emphasis should be placed on QUALITY of government.
    I'm an independent and I'm done with politicians left right and center. It's an old system we have, a broken system, and it does not foster equality or justice or transparency.

    February 1, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. ST

    I am wondering whether democracy should work this way! Once a person has money should trap people to let democracy work in his own way he wishes. This is quite wrong and this should not be the example to other developing countries must copy. It will kill completely the meaning of "democracy".

    February 1, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  14. NVa Native

    Romoney is the candidate of the 1% who out spent his opponents with nasty ads attacking them without being able to speak of anything positive about himself.

    No surprise from the party of the 1% hoping for the expansion of more delusional fear & hate through their foreign owned media outlets pushing nasty & baseless propaganda.

    February 1, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. julie

    all of you repub numbskull that thinks Willard will not cut SS and will bring millions of jobs and not up our taxes (thoughs of us making under 150,000 you need your heads examined..............remember in 2010 the repubs ran on JOB JOBS AND MORE JOBS...so where area they hummmm.......the President had to take JOB creation on the road cuz "do nothing congress" BLOCKED his JOBS bill............where is Mitts Plans, polices, where is his JOB creation plan
    OBAMA 2012

    February 1, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. B Civil

    To all the people commenting about how Obama used negative campaign advertisements, you're right. But I think you've missed the point. Of Romney's 3,276 ads, 99% were negative, and out of nearly 5,000 Super PAC ads that support Mitt, they were ALL negative. Do you see the difference? Or did you even bother to read past the title of this article?

    February 1, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. Jess C

    The Obama haters on here today are pretty funny. The have no facts, just Fox Noise talking points. Get a life, folks and brace for a trouncing.. Most of us in the middle class are sick of the do-nothing GOP with their same failed policies. I agree with most here, Romney is a flipper who has offered no viable solutions. Can't even pin him down for what he actually supports; it seems to change with the audience whose votes he's trying to win. Give us a break!

    February 1, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Jon

    So negative ads seem to be the favored tactic of the day. If I were Obama, I'd be taking notes. I'd also be prepared to use PACs to issue them, just like Romney. Dirty tricks? Yes. But that's politics, apparently.

    February 1, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. David

    Instead of spending all the money on attacking another man's character, use it to solve the world hunger problem, AIDS, Cancer, etc. And I'm talking about all the politicians. It is sickening to see how much money is spent during these campaigns.

    February 1, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  20. MidWestern Boy

    Mr. Obama lied to Mr. McCain and the American public last election cycle when he pledged to accept public financing of his campaign( along with Mr. McCain.) (Of course, that was before the tidal wave of Democrat and Wall Street contributions started rolling in. At that point Mr. Obama showed that he could dance as well as sing, as he executed a deft two step away from his apparantly meaningless pledge. Even the Clinton News Network blew the whistle, but so what. And now Mr. Obama's handlers want to talk about Romney's fund raising. Can you spell hypocricy ?

    February 1, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. rosaadriana

    True Romney won using negative ads and I hope Obama has the balls to do the same.

    February 1, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  22. Bubba

    I wouldn't vote for Romney if he promised to make me mayor of Newt's Moon colony. Nobody's going to vote for this sad sack of spit and have him be the Face of Republicanism for four years. It would be a great thing for his church, which would get a lot of new converts, but he's too business-oriented to run a country. You can't fire senators or governors, or foreign heads of state, Mittney.

    February 1, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Wyobob

    Manny, Obama is just giving credit, where credit is due. Bush did add over 6 trillion dollars to the debt, left a 1.4 trillion dollar budget deficit, and left obama the bush/paulson wallstreet bailout to pay for. Don't forget the wars and all his pork that we will have to keep paying for.

    February 1, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. v_mag

    The wingnuts here are repeating the same old tired lies about President Obama today, with no evidence, so I'll just make this comment. Why do you put up with a system that gives a few states the power to select your candidate? Why is there not a national primary day so that your vote would count as much as some old guy in Florida? Your party leaders are carefully manipulating you into accepting the candidate of their choice, Rom Mitt-money, and all you can do is repeat Faux News sound bites. You have been used, and the same can be said about the Democrats.

    February 1, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. sayer

    Are you seriously going to vote for a man who thinks we are all just jealous of his money? When he says, "Let them eat cake." Don't complain. This man says nothing about how he is going keep the economy growing and the repubs fall in line like lap dogs. Here we go again.

    February 1, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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