Obama camp: Debate showed Romney ‘will say anything’ to win
For the second straight week, the Obama campaign is focusing on Mitt Romney after a Republican presidential debate, saying he showed Tuesday night that he will “say and stand for anything” to win.
A week ago Team Obama voiced frustration that Romney’s Republican foes had not been aggressive enough in exposing what they see as a record of inconsistency on major issues.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, the reelection team was content that Romney seemed to trip himself up, particularly as it relates to illegal immigration.
When Rick Perry accused Romney of employing illegal immigrants in his own home, the former Massachusetts governor denied doing so knowingly.
When he discovered that the company he had hired did use undocumented workers, Romney said Tuesday that he told them, “You can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals.”
Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, said the response “revealed a lot about what motivates Romney.”
“He didn’t object to having undocumented workers working for him because it’s illegal. He objected because he thought it would hurt his political career,” Messina said.
It showed that the “core principle” driving Romney is “getting elected,” Messina argued, using it to pivot on what is likely the main issue in 2012.
“That is why Romney doesn’t have any credibility when he is out there saying he is fighting for the middle class. His economic plan makes clear that is not the case,” he said.
The Obama campaign has become more engaged in the Republican race of late, and Wednesday’s conference call with reporters again signaled that they view Romney as the most likely general election foe for President Obama in 2012.
Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokesperson, responded to Team Obama by saying that the president and his campaign “will continue to try and distract Americans from his failed economic record over the next year but it’s not going to work.”
The campaign also used the debate to engage with supporters and attempt to add to their fundraising total. Before the debate, it launched a “GOP Debate Watch” website, where supporters could chose from any of nine likely buzzwords the GOP hopefuls would be expected to make.
For every time the word was used in the debate, a supporter would donate a minimum of $3 to the reelection effort.
A campaign spokesman said that the most popular word chosen by supporters was “Obamacare,” which also turned out to be the most-used of the phrases chosen.
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