I recently wrote that Mitt Romney needs to “take off his gloves” and drop his rope-a-dope strategy if he wants a shot at winning. Since I wrote that, Boston has aired a few tough ads, implying Team Romney might have gotten the message. (And Chicago has reciprocated.)
Andrew Kaczynski may have summed up yesterday’s political frenzy in one tweet:
Today in presidential politics: Both sides have called the other liars and one side suggested the other candidate is a felon.
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) July 12, 2012
Yes, it’s been a heated few days, with the Romney campaign releasing their strongest ad of the General Election, effectively labeling Barack Obama a liar for his attacks on Romney and Bain Capital — and, on the other side, a flurry of stories questioning when Romney quit his job at Bain Capital.
That’s not to say that everyone agrees this atmosphere is good for Romney. There is an argument to be made, as a reader emailed to me, that Romney might benefit by cooling down this hyper terse campaign:
I think Romney would waste a lot of resources right now as almost every poll shows Obama’s attacks are not working. Fact of the matter Romney likely has a cash advantage that is only going to grow. If the Champ is punching but not hitting let him wear himself out. Plus the average American is not even paying attention. Trust me away from political bloggers and political junkies nobody will pay attention until September at the earliest. One of the reason the ads are not sticking? Nobody cares right now.
Another commenter disagreed, arguing Romney should go on the offensive:
Obama’s own actions have opened up wounds, which Mitt (in my opinion, though I’m no Cus D’Amato) ought to target and try to open up even further. First, Obama’s assertion of executive privilege re: Fast and Furious ought to be repugnant to Mexican-Americans. Romney should hammer the hell out of that point at every campaign stop and he should do so in his advertising as well. Second, his policies have resulted in a very poor job market for women (something like 700K more women out of work now that when he took office). He (Romney) should hammer the hell out of that point, too. Obama thinks that the contraception issue is a winner for the single woman demographic, but he is vulnerable on the jobs issue.
For the record, I think the gloves have to stay off, but Romney must remain focused. This election is primarily about the economy and jobs. If he keeps reminding Americans about the failed economic policies of this president, Romney could have a good November.