Top Obama campaign strategists David Axelrod and Jim Messina held a conference call with reporters this morning and teased Mitt Romney for his failure to put away the opposition in last night’s Super Tuesday contests.
“In every primary we have seen just how disappointed Republicans are in their candidates and how dissatisfied they are with their choices,” Mr. Messina said. “In state after state Republican voters have stated home and frankly I don’t blame them. On Super Tuesday we saw that dissatisfaction get super-sized.”
“The Romney Campaign wanted to put the campaign away,” Mr. Axelrod added. “Instead of Super Tuesday it became ‘Super Glue Day.’ They are still stuck with Santorum and with Gingrich and with the prospect of a long race here.”
Mr. Romney’s campaign was indeed looking to turn their attention to the general election after last night’s results, but instead found themselves with only the narrowest of victories in Ohio–a state they needed to prove general election viablility–and an upset loss in North Dakota.
This is a development that has delighted Mr. Axelrod and other advisers of Mr. Obama, who noted with glee on the conference call that polls show the long primary season is hurting Mr. Romney as it drags his campaign further to the right.
“He continues to not connect with working class voters in the states in which he runs. He continues to lose among independent voters and that is going to become increasingly so and he tacks further to the right whether with [Rick] Perry on immigration or [Newt] Gingrich on immigration or Santorum on contraception,” Mr. Axelrod said. “He is going to continue to lose independent voters when he avoids issues like the one involving Rush Limbaugh last week where he essentially refused to comment on what was a really egregious set o of comments by Limbaugh.”
The notion of being unable to “put the race away” was something that once plagued the Obama team. In 2008, they were continually dogged by doubts among Democrats as Hillary Clinton piled up states and delegates even though Mr. Obama was the de facto nominee. Mr. Axelrod said however that unlike the Republicans, they ran a positive campaign, while Mr. Romney is going strictly negative.
“It is very hard to unify a party when 90 percent of your advertising or more isnegative, when all you doing is attacking your opponent. We went the an entire campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2008 and perhaps in one or two instances she was even mentioned in an ad that we ran,” Mr. Axelrod said, although those who lived through the campaign may remember it differently.
Follow David Freedlander via RSS.