Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C.
— By engaging in character assassination against Mitt Romney, President Obama is unmasking himself and undermining his campaign, Steven Law, president and CEO of the powerful political action committee American Crossroads, tells Newsmax.
“President Obama is doing what he thinks he will need to do to win, which is to viciously attack his opponent,” Law says. “But in doing so, he will erode the last important part of his brand equity that he has, which is this perception that he is above the fray and that he is a very decent person.”
|GOP strategist Karl Rove is one of the best-known advisors to American Crossroads.
As a result, “That mask is going to come off, and he is going to be viewed as another gut- punching politician from Washington,” Law says. “So much of his image and his brand equity is tied up in this view that he’s different, that he is set apart from the fray, and every day that goes by with this approach, he loses all of that.”
American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads GPS, which focuses on issues, are major players in the campaign. Together, they expect to raise and spend $300 million to defeat President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Advised by the likes of former Bush White House aides Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, American Crossroads is not only placing political ads but conducting its own polling and research on how to focus those ads. So far, American Crossroads and its affiliate have raised well over $100 million.
Last month, American Crossroads teamed up with the Republican State Leadership Committee and the College Republicans National Committee to launch Crossroads Generation, a specialized communications and grassroots effort focused on college students and recent graduates.
“Younger voters are very impressionable, obviously,” Law says. “They turned out in droves for President Obama. He spoke to a lot of their aspirations and ideals, which is a great thing, but he has failed to live up to them, and we think that each month that goes by, he will present a far less and less idealistic portrait.”
As a result, “Younger voters are going to really start to defect in significant droves by the fall, and so we think it is important to have a basket to catch them in and to appeal to them,” he says. “Younger voters are probably suffering more than any other demographic group in this country because of President Obama’s policies.”
Obama’s campaign has been overreaching, as when it portrays Bain Capital as evil, Law says. “I think they haven’t performed with the kind of crystal and strategic brilliance that everybody has expected,” Law says. “There’s this kind of curious overreaching that they tend to engage in. When they launched this Bain attack, that led to Democrats coming out and questioning it.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is one of the Democrats who came to Bain’s defense.
“Booker pointed out that private equity is a huge deliverer of asset performance for unions, for pension funds, for universities, for state pension funds and investments,” Law says. “In addition to that, for the most part they invest in companies that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance of survival or growth. They very often challenge sclerotic management that is hampering these companies’ performance.”
As noted in my story Obama Puts Capitalism on Trial
, all one has to do is walk into a Staples store to get an idea of how many jobs Romney created through Bain Capital investments. Today, Staples alone employs 90,000 people and has 2,000 stores. That means that over the years, more than a million people have had jobs because of Staples alone.
“Generating profit is the way any company operates, and the lack of the ability to grasp that just suggests a group of people who are very, very disassociated from the realities of the world and the marketplace,” Law says. “One thing that we hear from voters in focus groups is that President Obama comes across as a little naive,” he says. “There’s a lack of deep experience in how the world works. This is someone who has largely been cloistered in universities and in a world of community organizing.”
Obama’s strategy is to go after voter factions.
“Obama is not that interested in your average middle class voter,” Law says. “He’s interested in tiny pockets and slivers of voters that he can pull together and make into a coalition. With certain people, that position will galvanize them, but with others, it could end up costing him some votes.”
Meanwhile, Romney is staying on message, focusing on the economy.
“People are much more sophisticated consumers about political information than ever before, and they now have a lot of different news sources, including Newsmax,” Law says. “Because of that, they are able to evaluate both the tonality and the facts that are delivered in a way that 10 or 15 years ago they wouldn’t have been able to do.”
As a result, “I think we will see voters compare President Obama’s approach, which is to basically engage in character assassination based on someone’s resume, with Romney’s approach, which is to lay out a very structured, dispassionate analysis of the facts,” Law notes. “I think they are going to grade Romney higher in the end.”
Saying Obama is “eminently beatable,” Law sees victory ahead in both the presidential and congressional races.
“We have a highly competitive presidential race in front of us, and we have tremendous opportunities to flip seats in the Senate,” Law says. “In addition to that, if we look at the House, where we will also be involved, there is a general feeling that we got an opportunity to not only hold our majority but perhaps expand it a little bit.”
Based on polling, “People are very concerned about the direction of the country under President Obama, they are very fearful of what four more years of his leadership would do to the country for perhaps a generation, and they feel like there is a real opportunity to make that change,” Law says.
“The fact that we are within the margin of error in the presidential race this early out in most public polls indicates to me that this is highly competitive, that Obama is vulnerable, and if we do what we need to do, we’ll be successful.” Law says.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is the New York Times bestselling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Read more reports from Ronald Kessler — Click Here Now.
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