I’m hoping to hear from some Republicans on this one.
The Obama campaign is pouring major resources into defining Mitt Romney as an outsourcing, offshoring, Cayman-Islands-wealth-stashing, tax-returns-hiding, super-rich-tax-rate-protecting corporate raider who as president would do to the middle class what Bain did to those shuttered manufacturing plants. They’re morphing him into the walking embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the economy and how it enabled the rich to get much, much richer as the floor fell out from under working and middle class Americans.
The Obama camp is spending millions of dollars on ads hammering these points home, and some pundits and news outlets are concluding the attacks may be working.
Where’s the pushback from the Romney campaign?
I don’t mean statements from the campaign or the candidate. The Romney camp regularly counters with releases hitting Obama for trying to distract the nation from the economy. Romney himself regularly slams Obama for supposedly attacking free enterprise itself.
I mean in terms of major ad expenditures, which is how these attacks would need to be countered.
Where are the Romney ads featuring the fact-checks that have accused the Obama camp of overreaching? Where are the Romney ads starring workers at companies clamiming to have been turned around by Bain? There’s apparently some kind of Web video in the works. But is there any serious pushback happening in the swing states?
Josh Marshall has been arguing that the D.C. pundit class was slow to recognize the potency of these attacks in swing state communities that have been devastated by stagnating wages and the erosion of manufacturing. For these voters, words like “offshoring” and “Swiss bank account” could carry a real emotional wallop.
Have Republicans — the Romney campaign included — been slow to recognize this, too? Were they caught off guard by this onslaught? I actually believe it’s too early to say whether these attacks are working or will work sufficiently in the long run. But there’s cause to believe they could work. Are Republicans persuaded otherwise? Are they convinced that these attacks will ultimately fall flat or even backfire?
These aren’t rhetorical questions. I’m genuinely curious to know whether there is serious pushback I’m missing and whether Republicans think the Romney campaign is handling the Obama campaign’s offensive adequately.
I’d be surprised if there isn’t a story here.