Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney must do a better job rebutting broadsides from President Barack Obama and his campaign team, says ace Republican strategist Karl Rove.
In recent weeks the Obama campaign has accused Romney of outsourcing U.S. jobs and of lying about when he stopped running Bain Capital. The Obama side also has criticized him for holding overseas bank accounts and investments.
The assaults are unjustified, Rove writes in The Wall Street Journal
. And they have done little to shift polls, which still show Obama and Romney in a virtual tie.
“Still, they have had an effect,” Rove says. “The Romney campaign's response—which included whiny demands that the president apologize for his attacks—has unsettled GOP activists, causing them to wonder how prepared Mr. Romney and his team are for the mud-fest they've entered.”
Obama has been able to deflect attention from economic weakness, especially sluggish job growth, Rove notes.
“The danger for Mr. Romney is that if these charges go un-refuted, they could discourage swing voters from going for him this fall when they decide whom to support,” Rove writes. “Therefore, Mr. Romney should challenge Mr. Obama directly—as he did effectively on Tuesday and Wednesday—but in a way that makes the Republican bigger and more presidential than the incumbent.”
Romney should use a “tone of disappointment and regret, not anger and malice” to point out that Obama’s policies aren’t doing anything to improve the economy,” Rove says. “The [Obama] attacks are more than just ‘misleading, unfair and untrue.’ They are proof Mr. Obama isn't up to the job and no longer worthy of the nation's confidence.”
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