Washington, May 31 (Xinhua-ANI): U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign ran an ad Thursday blasting rival Mitt Romney’s jobs record during his time as governor of Massachusetts, calling into question Romney’s ability to cut the nationwide jobless rate if elected.
The ad, posted on the Internet, called into question Romney’s record on jobs creation during his tenure as governor from 2003 to 2007, and quoted a couple of mayors of cities in the state, who said he had been an ineffective governor.
The video claimed the state fell to No. 47 out of 50 states in terms of job growth while Romney was in office.
Team Romney struck back later in the day, staging a campaign event on the steps of the Massachusetts state house just an hour before a pro-Obama event organized by the opposing camp.
Romney supporters heckled pro-Obama speakers with shouts of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” referring to the country’s high unemployment rate, local media reported.
Speaking on Fox News Thursday, Christopher Hahn, former aid to New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, argued the Obama campaign is just getting started in its attacks on Romney’s record, adding it is an effective strategy used by a number of previous presidents.
Speaking on the same panel, Fox News analyst Monica Crowley retorted that in spite of Obama’s attempts to go after Romney in this way, the election is really a referendum on Obama’s handling of the world’s largest economy.
One of the Obama brand’s main problems, she added, is the message in the 2008 campaign was bringing the nation together under a banner of hope from a candidate who promised a shift from the dirty game of Washington insider politics.
However, this time around, his campaign’s main message is simply to attack the challenger, she said.
Dan Mahaffee, an analyst with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, said while the 2008 election was about hope and change, November’s elections will resemble a street fight, with Obama painting Romney as a political dinosaur and throwback to the more conservative 1950′s era. It remains to be seen whether that strategy will succeed, he added.
Mahaffee said team Obama is waging a “multi-pronged” attack on Romney. The first thrust came in recent months as the president launched a populist attack on the wealthy former businessman, criticizing him for his past as a corporate executive. That plan, however, backfired when some in the Democratic Party did not get on board.
In the latest phase, the Obama campaign is seeking to portray Romney as aloof, outmoded and at odds with women and minorities.
Indeed, team Obama aims to portray Romney as a rigid conservative, making the claim that “if you are a women, if you are Hispanic, if you are a minority, Romney’s world view doesn’t have room for you,” Mahaffee said.
That strategy worked in 2004 during the re-election campaign of George W. Bush, when he was able to paint challenger John Kerry as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal.
Attacking his opponent may be the only strategy the president can follow at this point, with some pundits arguing Obama is steering clear of discussions on the economy, as many Americans view his economic leadership as poor.
“He is definitely going to have to shape the debate away from his own record,” Mahaffee said.
That has been evident in recent weeks as the president came out in favor of gay marriage after opposing it in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples. Critics, however, viewed the move as a side show and a White House bid to steer attention away from the economy.
Meanwhile, Romney will try to peel away former Obama supporters who have become dissatisfied with the president, said Ryan Prucker, president of Imagelight/Personality Driven Media, a media consulting company.
But the race will come down not only to the economy, but also to how well each candidate can convince voters he is the man for the job. And that is where Romney will have to really state his case about why he believes he has a better vision for the future, Prucker said.
However, as he is not a great communicator, it will be a stumbling block for him to articulate, as he is often seen as a robot-like persona who has trouble connecting to voters, Prucker said. (Xinhua-ANI)