Tags: US | Obama | Santorum

Obama Campaign Shifts to Also Targeting Santorum

Saturday, 18 Feb 2012 02:09 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Long expecting to face Mitt Romney in the fall, President Barack Obama's campaign team has shifted gears in recent days to consider the possibility his GOP opponent will instead be Rick Santorum.

Campaign officials confirm Obama's Chicago-based organization has begun combing through the former Pennsylvania senator's background looking for possible lines of attack. It also emailed Obama's Pennsylvania supporters this past week asking for material that could be used against Santorum in upcoming speeches and ads.

The move reflects Santorum's sudden surge in nationwide opinion polls and a spate of recent primary-season victories over Romney.

"Circumstances have changed," explained Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, still leads the delegate race with 123, compared with 72 pledged to Santorum and 32 to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, according to the most recent AP tally.

But after capturing Republican caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and a non-binding primary in Missouri on Feb. 7, Santorum has enjoyed a burst of attention — and fundraising.

Moreover, in high-stakes Michigan, where primary voters cast ballots a week from Tuesday, several polls in the past week gave him a lead, even though it's Romney's native state. The margin has ranged from four points in a Detroit News poll to nine in a Mitchell/Rosetta Stone survey.

"I mean, who'd have guessed?" Obama's Pennsylvania campaign director, Bill Hyers, asked in an email to supporters. He said it's up to Pennsylvania to make sure the rest of the country 'sees Rick Santorum's true colors."

"Here's someone ... whose extreme-right social views are as out of touch as they are memorable," Hyers wrote.

Until now, Obama's strategists have mostly been focused on Romney as the candidate with the best organization and most staying power. That was true even when Gingrich was surging. The Chicago team's emails and postings took sharp jabs at Romney's wealth and venture capital background, and his opposition to Wall Street regulation and upper-income tax hikes.

Press Secretary Jay Carney recently shot back at Romney's criticism of the mandate for church-run organizations to cover birth control. "The former governor of Massachusetts is an odd messenger on this," Carney said, noting the state enforced a similar rule under Romney.

Obama himself has sometimes seemed to target Romney, though without using his name — as when he derides those who, like Romney, opposed his auto bailout.

However, with all the attention on Santorum now, Obama's campaign, at least, is reconsidering.

Cutter said it's simply a reflection of "the way the Republican race is unfolding."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mike Rogers: Obama Said 'Aloha' Instead of Acting on Sony Hackers

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 10:01 AM

House Intelligence Committee chairman said on Sunday the United States has the capability to make it very hard for North . . .

Pakistan Hangs Four More Militants After School Attack

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 09:55 AM

Pakistan on Sunday executed four more militants after ending a six-year old moratorium on the death penalty following a  . . .

Obama: Struggling Putin Not 'Someone Who Has Rolled Me'

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 08:47 AM

President Barack Obama has rejected the charge that he has been outmaneuvered by Russian president Vladimir Putin. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved