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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Confident Campaigns Don’t Run ‘I Didn’t Mean That’ Ads, Do They?



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From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Panic in Team Obama?

So…

 President Obama sought to directly explain to voters what he meant by a comment about small business that has reverberated through Republican attacks on his re-election.

The new ad, “Always,” which will air in in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada, argues that Republicans were mischaracterizing a comment he’d made that seemed to suggest that small businesses weren’t solely responsible for their own successes.

“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context – they’re flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses,” Obama says in the ad.

“Yeah, if you’re making that ad, you are seeing something very scary in your polling and focus groups,” Drew M. concludes.

Allahpundit: “Am I right in thinking that O never felt obliged to do a spot like this, clarifying his own comments, back in 2008? He gave his speech on race to try to defuse the Rev. Wright uproar, but he never did an ad directly answering an attack that I can recall, not even after his immortal “bitter-clinger” comments at that lefty fundraiser. Typically the playbook when a pol says something damaging is to let it lie and not extend its media shelf life with a new commercial that dredges it up again in the course of rebutting it. He must be awfully nervous about how “you didn’t build that” is playing with that middle class he claims to care so much about if he feels obliged to do this. Exit question: O says here that his point in the original “you didn’t build that” comments was that America needs to “stand behind” its small business owners. Is that right? Go re-read what he said in Roanoke. Sure sounded at the time like he was telling them that they owe us, not that we owe them.”

Why this big a response? Dan McLaughlin, also known as the Baseball Crank, notes, “Obama takes more damage from saying socialistic-sounding things than dumb things because voters suspect him of being socialistic, not dumb… As I’ve noted before, Obama’s a corporatist & collectivist, not a socialist. To average voter, not a meaningful distinction; both unpopular.”

Meanwhile, from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last night: “In the presidential horserace, Obama leads Romney by six percentage points among registered voters, 49 percent to 43 percent.”

Sample breakdown:Democrat/lean Democrat: 46 percent; Republican/lean Republican 35 percent; strictly independent, 16 percent.

So in a sample that is 11 points more Democrat than Republican, Obama is up 6.

Yawn.

Today’s Jolt also features discussion of Mayor Bloomberg’s latest looney-tunes idea to promote gun control, and a truly geeky, spoiler-filled analysis/review of the latest Batman movie.


Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Polling


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