It might seem like the president's been in reelection mode for months, but now he really means, his campaign says.
It may have appeared that President Obama has been running hard for reelection for some months now. But his campaign announced on Wednesday night that now he really means it, scheduling two events in two battleground states at which the president will officially launch his campaign. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama will appear together at rallies at the Ohio State University and Virginia Commonwealth University on May 5.
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"Welcome to the general election," declared campaign manager Jim Messina during a telephone conference call for reporters. He noted that there is no longer any doubt that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, and said, "The monologue is over. Now Romney has to put his agenda and record up against the president's." He added, "We're ready to go."
Senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said the campaign is at "an inflection point" now that Romney has locked up the nomination. "This is not going to be a one-way discussion" anymore, he said.
Republicans, of course, believe that most of the president's recent events - including those at college campuses this week -- have been more campaign rallies than official presidential business. Predictably, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski scoffed at the notion that the upcoming trips will be different. "At President Obama's kickoff events next weekend you can expect to hear a lot of divisive rhetoric and finger-pointing," she said in a statement, adding, "In Ohio, Virginia and across the country, Obama isn't working and it's time for a new president who can turn our country around."