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.

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

    No one won in Florida but the TV stations who raked in millions for the most disgusting, nastiest, slanderous Republican campaign ads we have seen so far. When you cannot run on your record, your accomplishments, your vision for our nation and its recovery – you are not a leader and not worthy for office. And the sad thing is Republicans will get even more nasty and hateful when they go on the attack against President Obama. They have created an envronment of hate in this country I have not seen since I was a child during the Civil Right era. How shameful, but these Republicans do not care. It's not about We the People. It's about beating a black man in every sense of the word. The Republican Party has become a Hate Group and as Newt called Romney – "pathetic"

    February 1, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Gurgi, glad to see you are polite today. I'm doing better under Obama than I ever did under the GOP, so I guess we have different experiences. No, I'm not a union member, and never have been: I have voted for GOP candidates when I felt they represented the interests of my district. That being said, I do agree that the political middle has been squeezed out in favor of political theology, and the GOP has been especially zealous in recent years. If a third party came along that focused on getting our fiscal house in order and recognized that people don't deserve to be demonized, I would would consider joining that party. However, with all due respect, our policies over the last 3 decades, along with an unwillingness to enforce the rules, did get us into our current mess, in my opinion. By the way, nice response, and thoughtfully written. Wish people did that more often.

    February 1, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Loren, Keene NH

    @fed up

    I haven't seen Obama been touting a positve message. If his health care idea was so wonderful, why didn't he mention it in the "State of the Union". All he did was what he always does, gives a campaign speech.

    This independant gave Obama 4 years to change things and he didn't deliver. Time to step aside. Anything is better than the last 4 years.

    February 1, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Michael

    Of course he's going to win by using negative ads, because being negative is the only thing the GOP is really good at.

    February 1, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. NVa Native

    The only person winning in the GOP primary is our President.

    February 1, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Jay Dubb

    If anyone has a sense of entitlement, it's Obama. Look at his Senate record to see how ineefective he was. Are we surprised that he has been ineffective as president? He's an Obamacrat out for himself. No one else is supposed to be able to fire shots except for him. Look how he acted toward Jan Brewer in Arizona. He got off the plane and the first thing he said was confrontational. If Romney has a sense of entitlement, it doesn't match Obama's.

    February 1, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Jason

    Got it: Romney uses negative ads, Obama doesn't....except for this negative memo...

    It's easier to see the speck in your neighbor's eye than the plank in your own, eh Dems?

    February 1, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. M. Simons

    Please Democrats, don't stoop to the negative ads. Let Romney go to the gutter if he thinks that will win him votes – only the most ignorant like the negativity. President Obama needs to stay positive and it will pay off in November.

    February 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Gurgi

    Tom,,,,,".......along with an unwillingness to enforce the rules, did get us into our current mess, in my opinion." Wholehearted agreement with that one. Politicians keep creating more and more laws trying to fix problems that would not be there if the existing laws/rules were enforced. On many things, from the way elections are run to the illegal immigration issue and everything in between. You hit on one of my pet peeves, lack of enforcement of existing rules/policies/laws.

    February 1, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Gloria

    I'd never vote for anyone but President Obama. I believe he and his family represent what is right with our nation.

    February 1, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Whole story

    Stephanie Cutter chose to only report on the negative ad campaign. She forgot to mention exit polls showed it was ads and debate performance that swayed voters decisions. Figures.

    February 1, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Restore Our Future should be renamed Repeat Our Fiasco. That is their agenda. Back to Bush failed economics.

    February 1, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Michael


    Did you say ANYTHING is better than the past four years? So, if Republicans win the WH and gets us into another war, even (God forbid) a war with Iran, would you consider that better than the previous four years in which Obama got us out of Iraq and killed Bin Laden? Or what if the unemployment rate climbs to over 10%? Would you consider that better thant he 9% unemployment rate we currently have under Obama? Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it...

    February 1, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Gurgi, lack of political will and/or spine is the problem, along with a lack of participation. People want something for nothing, yet scream bloody murder when their schools are not the best and the streets are not plowed. The realization that these things cost money makes many people decise what they want to pay for: since when has this country ever been about ducking responsibility? Both sides have demonstrated this on numerous occaisions, and in any number of ways. Its sad to me to see an election that we know is only going to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and not to our best ideals. I don't expect people to eb perfect, but I do expect them to try. That's especially true of our leaders, who's behavior diminishes more than inspire us.

    February 1, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. logicnLA

    Three weeks ago they said he had a 15 point lead. they spent a fortune to keep it. doesn't say much for his campaign to me.
    It will be hard fro him to say he is an outsider with all the money being poured into his campaign- the fall will be interesting. He will say the economy is bad but have to defend making millions on investments. He will say the governemnt should get involved with private enterprise but will have to defend Bain and business closing and still accusing Obama of not creating jobs. the contradictions are laughable.

    February 1, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Jeff

    Wow that is quite an accusation. I hope Obama's reelection team is ready to back it up by NOT running any negative ads against Romney. This also gives the Florida people NO credit, and assumes that they are all mindless and are 100% swayed by negative ads alone. I don't think our friends in Florida would agree with you.

    February 1, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Phillip

    @ Jason...Isn't the first part of your remark an example of what you say in the last part of your response? Sorry, just trying to point out the speck..if you will excuse my plank.

    February 1, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. judith

    It's interesting to note that Obama has a 9 point lead over Romney in Florida, according to the most recent polling. Mitt is just not a good candidate–now, in addition to being a stiff, he's shown he's utterly ruthless–all the time with the phony used car salesman smirk on his face.

    February 1, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. Muldoon in Ohio

    You can thank Gingrich for starting the negative ads and criticism – Romney finally realized he was in a knife fight without a knife, and his campaign handlers must have finally given him a big knife. Gingrich has not changed since his days in congress – win votes and influence people by destroying your "enemy", whoever it may be – Nixon was the last politician who was paranoid enough to live by this philosophy, and look what happened to him.

    February 1, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. vatoloke

    "Romney won Florida on negative ads"

    Uh, what else can you run on when all is a negative? And that goes for Mittens, the Grinch, and our very own American version of the Taliban in Santorum. The only good guy in the foursome isn't electable, unfortunately, which leaves us with the one postive candidate, President Barack Obama.

    February 1, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Roger Korby

    Of course his campaign team is going to blast Romney. They do not want him to be the nominee. He's the only GOP candidate polling either even or ahead of Obama.

    February 1, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. DK

    The GOP has yet to present any ideas that will actually move America forward. This election is about hate, nothing more. These people have sold out all their core beliefs in this election. They rejected family values, morals and will turn their back on God and their beliefs. It will be the end of America.

    February 1, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Bessy

    @ Michael
    You are 100% correct. People just do not think, or for that matter check out any of the " Facts " these politicians are handing out. Almost everything they spout about President Obama is a lie. They should ' Fact Check " first before believing what is said. Just about all of them want us in another war even though their families will never be fighting it.
    The economy is picking up but NONE of them will ever give credit for that. They just want to destroy Obama and they don't care what it takes to achieve that. You must remember afterall, HE IS HALF BLACK .

    February 1, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Bill, NY

    Restore Our Future=Post Apocalyptic. If elected, Romney will finish the job started by George Bush. There will be lots of rat eating in our future.

    February 1, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Look like I was SENOR about Mr Mitt Romeny well your a right to print what you to . Thank you but true (smile)

    February 1, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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