Democrats mix messages to mar Mitt’s momentum

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Gov. Mitt Romney is a hard-edged right-winger but he’s also an insincere flip-flopper, said caucus-crashing Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz during a press conference in Iowa on Tuesday.

Wasserman Schultz is the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and her repeated media events at the GOP caucuses are intended to boost Obama and diminish the GOP winner and the Republican coalition. (RELATED: Democrats photo-bomb the Iowa caucuses)

The charges illustrate the campaign’s changing priorities as it shifts from the GOP’s primary campaign to the general election.

Their focus has remained on Romney ever since Texas Gov. Rick Perry flamed out after a series of debate fumbles.

For months, Democrats have been labeling Romney as a flip-flopper, but they’re now trying to paint him as a heartless, Wall Street elitist.

“His executive decisions at Bain Capital put profits over people … real people know the real consequences of Mitt Romney’s private sector activities [is] not something American people deserve today,” said Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, who joined Wasserman Schutlz at the press conference in Iowa’s Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel.

Wasserman Schultz pushed the same message, arguing that Romney would have let the auto industry go under, ignored home-owners’ worries abut declining values, wanted to “end Medicare as we know it,” would have kept 30,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and would let “Wall Street write their rules.”

Both Braley and Wasserman Schultz reprised the charge that Romney is a flip-flopper, but both subordinated that criticism to their portrayal of Romney as a job-killing robber baron.

“Romney’s entire candidacy has been a charade … he’s saying and doing anything to get elected,” Wasserman Schultz alleged. But, she added, he’s “a corporate buyout specialist who fired workers, outsourced [jobs] … and deliberately bankrupted companies.”

Romney “will say anything and do anything to be elected president of the United States,” said Braley, shortly after he declared that “a series of ruthless business decisions by Romney and his business partners [caused] … hundreds of [people] to lose their jobs.”

Wasserman Schultz also mixed her messages as she tried to portray Obama as focused on his presidential job, not on his election campaign.

President Barack Obama is “singularly focussed on being president,” but he will take time out to respond to criticism from Romney, she said. Romney has been “distorting and even lying” about the president’s record, but Obama won’t take it “lying down,” she told the reporters, none of whom asked her how Romney can simultaneously be ideologically unprincipled and a panderer, yet also champion causes that are right-wing and unpopular.

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