Trying to shift the presidential campaign narrative away from his personal finances and tenure at Bain Capital, Republican Mitt Romney will launch a fresh assault this week accusing President Obama of political cronyism at the expense of middle-class workers.
In a coordinated offensive starting Monday, the Romney team and its allies will say that the president has been a “typical politician” and has demonstrated “systematic favoritism” toward top campaign fundraisers by lavishing them with federal appointments and their companies with taxpayer money and special government deals, according to campaign officials.
All year on the stump, Romney has broadly labeled Obama a “crony capitalist,” but aides said the presumptive GOP nominee will deliver the attack to voters in a sharper and more substantive and sustained manner beginning at a Tuesday rally in Pennsylvania.
The overall effort, under the branding “Obama’s Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs,” will highlight alleged administration favoritism toward more than 200 Obama donors. The campaign will push the theme through online videos, appearances by Romney surrogates and messages tailored to battleground states, as well as Spanish-language and other specialty media. Campaign officials said they are considering television advertisements as well.
“If you’re a political donor to Barack Obama, you’re going to do fine, because you’re going to get a payoff. If you’re a middle-class worker, you’re in jeopardy, you’re facing a layoff,” Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Romney, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Obama campaign officials see this as a weak line of attack, in part because, they said, Romney played favorites by steering tax breaks to some companies over others as governor of Massachusetts.
“It’s clear that Mitt Romney will do anything to avoid answering serious questions about his tenure as a corporate buyout specialist,” Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said. “But launching false attacks that only boomerang on his record of cronyism in Massachusetts and the Olympics won’t do it.”