Democratic flacks’ emails whack at Romney, link GOP with tea party

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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How did Democrats target GOP presidential candidates before and during Thursday’s Iowa debate? Let us count the ways.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse used Twitter to whack at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 16 times, but mentioned Texas Gov. Rick Perry only twice, and Rep. Michele Bachman only once.

Emails from party spokesmen, including the DNC’s “Rapid Response” group, flailed at Romney 11 times, while Gov. Tim Pawlenty merited only one mention.

The emails didn’t mention Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at all, but did flick at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich once for his criticism of President Barack Obama’s policies on Israel.

The DNC attacked former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman for his opposition to a flat-tax proposal, but just once. That’s a demotion for Huntsman, who was once the target of numerous profile-boosting emails and tweets from Democratic flacks.

In recent months Romney has been the target of roughly 150 emails from the DNC’s rapid response unit. Huntsman had only 63 mentions during the same period, many of them in June and July when he was new to the race.

The DNC rapid-responders also gave Pawlenty 60 mentions. Bachmann had only 36, Gingrich got 14, and the unit’s emails only mentioned former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum eight times.

“President Obama and his political cronies are desperate to distract voters from his failed record on jobs and the economy in order to hold on to power,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told The Daily Caller. “They will stop at nothing to attack Mitt Romney because they know that his 25 years of experience in the real world economy make him uniquely qualified to get the country back on the right track to create jobs.”

The tea party drew considerable flak from the left on Thursday, as Democratic advocates tried to paint GOP leaders as extremists under the thumb of still more marginal extremists. “Tonight we learned these Republican candidates represent the single most extreme GOP Presidential field in history,” claimed one tweet from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the DNC.

Woodhouse’s DNC tweets repeatedly emphasized that theme: “There is only 1 take away from this debate. Every GOP candidate pledge their oath to the mother ship – the Tea Party,” read one. Others blasted, “Winner: The Tea Party. Loser: The American Middle Class” and “There you have it. The Tea Party has taken over the GOP. Every GOP candidate would walk away from a deal of $10 cuts to $1 in revenue.”

Neil Munro