‘Obama for Gingrich’ memo hits Romney

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s campaign manager tried to help former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign on Monday morning by sending out a 1,540-word anti-Romney campaign flyer just days prior to the Jan. 31 Florida primary votes.

The memo offers a litany of alleged weaknesses in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s polling numbers, but doesn’t list any offsetting problems in former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s political profile.

Instead, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina cherry picked the polling data to argue that Romney is 47 percentage points behind Gingrich among the subset of voters that have “a negative view of Romney’s record at Bain Capital.”

Messina does not mention Rep. Ron Paul or former Sen. Rick Santorum, who beat Romney in Iowa and closely trailed Gingrich in New Hampshire.

Messina’s memo complements other Democratic cheerleading for Gingrich, who is widely regarded by Democrats as a weaker general election candidate than Romney.

Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina was a political “achievement … [but] I don’t think there’s any chance he’ll end up being the nominee, unfortunately,” Democratic strategist James Carville said on Jan. 21. on CNN.

Messina’s memo was sent out at 8:04 a.m. and began by declaring that “as Mitt Romney moves through the Republican primaries, he finds himself in an increasingly weak position among every category of voter critical for a Republican to win the general election.”

The memo lists the Democrats’ anti-Romney arguments on housing, jobs, retirement security, independents, seniors and Hispanics, without listing his offsetting strengths or any of Gingrich’s weaknesses.

In an apparent boost for Gingrich, the memo also highlights Romney’s potential general election weaknesses in Florida. “In Florida … Romney invested in Dade Behring, a profitable medical equipment company, ran it into the ground, and caused 850 workers in Miami to lose their jobs,” Messina wrote.

“In a state with 3 million seniors, Romney’s positions on Medicare and Social Security will present problems … Romney’s immigration position, which would be the most extreme of any nominee in recent history, will hurt him with Hispanic voters … This week, Florida’s voters will meet a candidate with no core values who believes he’s entitled to play by a different set of rules,” Messina continued.

The memo avoids any mention of Obama’s stalled polls or his weaknesses on jobs and spending, with seniors, independents and Hispanics, or his low poll ratings in Florida.

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