The retreat was caused by push-back from centrist Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, and by his need to raise funds from very wealthy Americans, including Lasry, who hosted the June 4 fundraiser.
Previously, Obama’s campaign aides have used Romney’s comments from his tenure as governor in liberal Massachusetts to portray Romney as a “say-anything” candidate with no core beliefs.
That strategy was used by his aides during the primary campaign to spur opposition to Romney among social conservatives and libertarians, but was dropped once Romney secured the nomination.
The new “insane GOP” strategy may prove equally ineffective, partly because many of the GOP’s voters and leading politicians come from middle America, and from working-class or middle-class backgrounds. They include Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Speaker of the House John Boehner, from Ohio.
For example, a Gallup poll released June 4 shows Romney leading Obama by 49 percent to 45 percent among voters earning between $36,000 and $90,000. Romney also leads Obama by the same 49 percent to 45 percent among wealthier voters.
Moreover, polls regularly show that the public wants smaller government and lower taxes, even though they also want a strong federal safety net.
Attendees paid $40,000 per plate to the June 4 fundraiser to hear Obama say the GOP is out of the mainstream. “We’re not the ones who changed,” he said.
Obama will likely repeat the message when he returns to New York on June 14 to attend another high-dollar fundraiser with the city’s fashion-industry elite, including Vogue’s editor, the British-born Anna Wintour.