Obama campaign senior advisor David Axelrod and deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said there was one thing missing from the Republican National Convention — anything of substance.
“He [GOP nominee Mitt Romney] was given the opportunity to talk directly to the American people, and he didn’t,” Cutter said on a conference call Friday with reporters, organized by the Obama campaign. “There was a reason why they left out the details in a three-day convention in Tampa, because even according to a senior Romney advisor, it would be political suicide to walk through those details.”
The overall message of the Obama team on the day after the Republican convention ended was that Romney and the Republicans had offered so few substantive proposals in Tampa that there was little to be rebutted — and that the relentless attacks of President Obama missed the mark.
The “you didn’t build that” meme, Axelrod said, “which they’ve invested millions and millions of dollars in to no avail — hasn’t changed the race at all.”
Axelrod was likely referring to the fact that national polling in the race has been remarkably static of the last two months of the campaign, although swing state races have tightened.
“Next week in Charlotte we are eager to talk about where we’ve been and where we’re going,” Axelrod told reporters. “Which people tuned into to hear about last night and didn’t get a sense of.”
But the Obama chief strategist that the Democrats would be shy, either. “I was asked in an interview this morning how much we would be referring to President Bush. My answer was that’d be referring to him about as much as the Republicans did — which is to say not at all — but we are going to take issue with the policies from the last decade because these are policies they want to go back to, these are the policy they want to embrace,” saying of those who tuned into the RNC, “All they got was snarky lines and gauzy reminiscences of the past.”
Cutter said Americans already know Obama, and they don’t need to “reintroduce” or “re-invent” him at the Democratic convention. “Ours will be a working convention,” she said, mentioning that the party would use the opportunity to register voters and building the party and campaign apparatus.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.