Is Team Obama Trying to Boost Team Gingrich in Florida?

More

A memo from the president's re-election team suggests he'd rather face the former speaker than Mitt Romney in a general election.

gingrichromney.banner.reuters.jpg

The Obama campaign is out with a scathing memo welcoming Mitt Romney to Florida. Playing off exit polls in South Carolina, it pretty much embodies the rule that the best defense is a good offense. It also raises the question of whether President Obama is trying to pick his opponent this fall.

Campaign manager Jim Messina spouted so many attack lines against Romney that it's tough to decide which ones to share. Here's a sampling:

  • "The more voters learn about Romney, the more unfavorably they view him."
  • He lost among South Carolina voters whose top priority is the economy -- "a strong rebuff of what he calls his chief qualification for office."
  • "Romney is now 0-for-3 among independents."
  • "Republican base voters are having trouble trusting Romney."
  • Releasing one or two years of tax returns is not enough. "What is he hiding?"
  • Romney's immigration position would be "the most extreme of any nominee in recent history" and will hurt him with Hispanic voters in Florida and beyond.
  • "This week Florida's voters will meet a candidate with no core values who believes he's entitled to play by a different set of rules."

In these circumstances, hitting a guy when he's down is a win-win strategy. Pummeling Romney during the primaries softens him up for a general-election campaign if he becomes the nominee. And if the memo helps put Newt Gingrich on path to the nomination -- he whom national polls show to be unlikeable and unelectable -- well, from Obama's standpoint, that's even better.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul weighs in: "The last thing the White House wants is Mitt Romney as an opponent -- which explains their 'all hands on deck' approach for their strategy to 'kill Romney,' the same way they engaged in a campaign of personal destruction against Hillary Clinton."

Image: Jason Reed / Reuters

Jump to comments
Presented by

Jill Lawrence is a national correspondent at National Journal. She was previously a columnist at Politics Daily, national political correspondent at USA Today and national political writer at the Associated Press.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In