White House spokesman Jay Carney today repeatedly suggested that a President Mitt Romney would govern the nation for the benefit of his partisan supporters, not for all Americans.
“I’ll limit what I say. … When you’re president of the United States, you’re president of all the people, not just the people who voted for you,” Carney told reporters when he was asked about the covert recording of Romney at May fundraiser in Florida.
Romney told his donors that his campaign is trying to woo the last several percent of swing voters, because President Barack Obama can count on support from 47 percent of voters.
The 47 percent includes people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,” he said.
In the election, “They will vote for this president no matter what. … My job [in the campaign] is is not to worry about those people,” he said.
Romney’s strategy is aimed at the late-deciding swing voters who like Obama but are disappointed in his record.
“What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not,” he said.
Those voters are not persuaded by the sharp criticisms that can motivate reliable Republicans voters, forcing Romney to separate his base-turnout efforts from his outreach to swing-voters.
However, his plans for governing the United States are different.
He’s argued for charter schools, which he says will many people, including African-Americans, few of whom will vote GOP.
He’s argued for tax reform that would preserve current tax levels on wealthy Americans, and not lower their taxes.
He argues that a streamlined government will spur greater economic growth that will boost unemployment and reduce the dependence of poor Americans, regardless of whether they vote GOP or Democratic.
But Carney repeatedly suggested that Romney would use government to aid Republican voters, and would ignore Democratic voters.
“I think the way you have to approach the job is with a keen understanding that you’re out there fighting for every American. … This president’s agenda has always been about building the middle class, strengthening the middle class, bringing people up into the middle class,” Carney said.
“Again, the broader point that you always hear him make is that we need to come together as a country,” Carney told the reporters gathered at the midday conference in the White House. “We need to work together for what’s best for the country and best for especially the middle class, which is the backbone of this nation.”
Carney, however, made sure to slip in extra criticisms of Romney.
“I can tell you that the president certainly doesn’t think that men and women on Social Security are irresponsible or victims; that students are irresponsible or victims,” Carney said. “And he certainly doesn’t think that middle-class families are paying too little in taxes.”
Obama has his own election strategy, where he tries to spur support from niche groups — gays, African-Americans, Hispanics, professional women, environmentalists — while offering some hope of beneficial change to the swing-voters who backed him in 2008.
To keep the swing-voters in his column, he’s portraying himself as the champion of Middle Class America.
Neither candidate is trying to woo many of the other’s base voters.
For example, at his Charlotte convention, for example Obama highlighted a birth control activist — Sandra Fluke — while trying to spur turnout by professional women, at the price of further alienating conservative women or religious believers.