Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s name won’t come up in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. But that doesn’t mean the president won’t have the former Massachusetts governor firmly in mind.
You can look at all of Obama’s lines championing the middle class as an attempt to portray Romney as a Richie Rich fat cat who’s out of touch with ordinary Americans, The Hill
“Every time he [Obama] says ‘wealthy few,’ it almost implies investor class and Mitt Romney,” Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communications, told The Hill. It’s an “easy” association, he said.
Despite former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s victory in the South Carolina primary Saturday and his lead in the latest Florida polls, Obama apparently still views Romney as his main threat.
The president’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, sent an e-mail to reporters Monday saying Romney “continues to lose the middle class.”
Obama will draw attention to Romney Tuesday night by reiterating his support for the “Buffett Rule,” which would raise taxes on the wealthy.
Romney has put himself in a pickle with his initial reluctance to release his tax returns. He finally offered them Tuesday. They showed that he earned $21.6 million in 2010 and paid 13.9 percent of that amount in income taxes.
Of course it’s not just Obama hitting Romney on the wealth issue. His Republican challengers, principally Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry before he exited the campaign, have at times painted the former Massachusetts governor as a predatory capitalist.
They have “opened the door for Obama and have even helped pull the hinges off,” Berkovitz said.
But Romney backers say Obama’s effort to define him as anti-middle class won’t work. “Obama faked his way through the 2008 campaign as a centrist, and I think he governed very much as a hyper-partisan,” a strategist close to the Romney campaign told The Hill.
“I think during the 2012 campaign he’ll try and fake his way through the campaign as someone who understands the problems of the middle class. But that will be completely at odds with his record. He’s dividing America through class warfare from the very beginning. This is going to be a campaign that focuses squarely on ‘Are you better off today than you were four years ago?’ ”
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.