With President Obama releasing a $25 million blitzkrieg of campaign ads, his top advisors David Axelrod and Jim Messina had a press conference call with reporters this morning to discuss his branding strategy. They said the president’s message this election cycle will focus on his record and his desire to keep the country progressing. Messrs. Messina and Axelrod contrasted this with Mitt Romney, who they predicted would lean on negative attacks because he, in Mr. Messina’s words, “truly has no record to run on.”
“We have a very simple choice between going forward and going back,” Mr. Messina said when describing the main message of the president’s new campaign commercials.
President Obama’s advisors said Mr. Romney can’t focus on his acheivements in business and as governor of Massachusetts because he failed to create jobs in the Bay State and, while in the private sector, he promoted layoffs and outsourcing before, as Mr. Messina put it, “making off with millions.”
“Mitt Romney truly has no record to run on,” Mr. Messina said. “We probably won’t see any ads in this cycle that talk accurately about his record, because he has nothing to say.”
As evidence of this, Mr. Axelrod claimed Mr. Romney “went through his whole kickoff speech … without ever mentioning he was Governor of Massachusetts.”
Rather than highlighting his record, Mr. Axelrod said he expects Mr. Romney to release a barrage of negative ads.
“Governor Romney has run … something in the order of $55 million of media already in this campaign and close to 90 percent of it has been attacking opponents,” Mr. Axelrod said. “He’s basically reduced to running a negative campaign just as he was in the primaries and hoping that will carry the day.
Mr. Axelrod also said he expected negative ads to come from Super PACs backed by wealthy conservative donors like the “Koch brothers contract killers.” He vowed to fight back against those commercials and to treat them as direct assaults from Mr. Romney.
“We will respond vigorously,” Mr. Axelrod said.
Mr. Axelrod said President Obama has a “different approach” focused on promoting his record and outlining “a positive vision for the future.” The president’s television commercials may be taking the high road, but based on today’s call, it’s abundantly clear his campaign is clearly not shying away from attacking Mr. Romney in the press.