Republican presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney has adopted a new strategy to attract moderate Democrats and independents — trumpeting the accomplishments of former President Bill Clinton to contrast him with current President Barack Obama.
Romney is lauding Clinton’s free-market economic policies, comparing them unfavorably to Obama’s policies of government intervention, Politico
Romney is hoping to draw voters who backed former first lady Hillary Clinton in her 2008 primary battle against Obama. That includes white, working-class males, who represent important voting blocs in crucial swing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The Romney camp also hopes to drive a wedge between Bill Clinton, now perhaps Obama’s most influential backer, and the president. The two had a testy relationship during the 2008 primary race.
Exit polls from 2008 show that Obama scored a resounding 21-percentage-point victory among moderates, but trailed John McCain by 4 percentage points among voters who earned less than $50,000 a year. That was a strong constituency for both Clintons.
Recent polls show Romney ahead of Obama among white, working-class men, while Obama leads among women. Among independents, a recent Politico poll puts Romney 10 points ahead.
Republican strategists say Romney is bringing Clinton into the fray at the right time. The strategy enables Romney to present Obama as left of center on major issues such as deficit spending, healthcare reform, and same-sex marriage.
Democrats, of course, think otherwise. “Maybe it’s a good one-liner for today, though I’m not sure that the public doesn’t see through it,” John Podesta, White House chief of staff under Clinton and co-chairman of Obama’s transition team, told Politico.
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