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Matthew Continetti says the dog wars have been fun, but Romney should not spend all his time trading tweets.
The worst thing Romney could do is step into the net. Let aides trade Tweets with Obama spokesmen now and then, but don’t make it a priority. Let others take the low road.
When David Axelrod mentions the dog, remind the country that this is the worst recovery in history. When David Plouffe mentions the rich, let Americans know that everyone’s taxes should be low, that everyone’s taxes are scheduled to spike on Jan. 1, that Obamacare includes numerous taxes on every American, and that the middle class has fared the worst in the Obama economy. When Debbie Wasserman Schultz sneers that Republicans are coming after women, stress the importance of a culture of life and Obamacare’s threat to religious liberty. Ask every audience Reagan’s question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Unless the audience is filled with TARP recipients and government workers, the answer will be no.
The deeper into the year we get, the more desperate Obama is likely to become. There will be incendiary rhetoric. The smears will be over the top. The hits will be exaggerated; some may draw blood. The Twitter Trap will beckon. But Romney can’t succumb. He can’t flinch.
Because it’s a dog-eat-dog world. And only the Alpha gets the win.
Similar thoughts about focus from Craig Pirrong.
… Welcome to the Five Minutes of Hate Campaign, brought to you by the Great Uniter.
Actually, we would be blessed if there were only five minutes of hate per day. It is going to be more than that, and the duration and frenzy of the attacks will only grow in the coming months.
And the campaign will be suitably Orwellian, because it will try to use hate to paint Republicans as haters.
Don’t take the bait folks. Do the thing that Obama desperately wants you to avoid. Focus on the record. The litany of failure. From spending to Obamacare to Frankendodd. Do that, and exploit the contrast between the soaring rhetoric of 2008 and the viciousness of 2012.
Jennifer Rubin posts five things we have learned about the Romney campaign.
There were a spate of polls last week, which rudely shook the left from its blissful obliviousness. This will be a close election, and Mitt Romney has a level of credibility on the economy, which happens to be President Obama’s biggest weakness. We also learned five things about the Romney campaign.
Walk and chew gum at the same time. Conservatives fretted that Romney was becoming too “reactive” and getting lured into fights on Twitter-level inanities. But it turns out that Romney could punch back while still advancing his core message: Obama has failed in his most important task, restoring American prosperity. In a campaign stop in Arizona on Friday he told the crowd: “I think Obama is a nice person. I just don’t think we can afford him any longer.” With a blah economy, Romney’s message — Obama’s policies have slowed the recovery — has some resonance.
The campaign knows what it needs. …
Short from The Hill on troubles raising money for The One.
Priorities USA, a super-PAC focused on reelecting President Obama, has asked former President Bill Clinton to help them pick up the pace on fundraising.
Democratic donors have been resistant to giving to the group. This is partly because of liberals’ hesitation about super-PACs in general and partly because Sean Sweeney and Bill Burton, the two former White House staffers heading the group, aren’t as plugged in to the fundraising world as those helping some of the Republican groups, which include heavy-hitters like Karl Rove and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R).
If Clinton decides to help Piorities USA that could go a long way toward wooing some rich donors off the sidelines. According to Businessweek, he’s leaning towards aiding them.
The group, which is headed by former Obama White House staffers, has struggled to keep pace with pro-GOP outside groups. It has raised $8.8 million with $5 million in the bank, according to new reports, while the pro-Romney Restore Our Future has brought in $51.9 million and still has $6.5 million left after an expensive primary.
The pro-Republican American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have raised nearly $100 million and plan to spend a total of $250 million on this election. If Priorities USA and other pro-Democratic super-PACs can’t pick up the fundraising pace Democrats and their allies could be vastly outspent by their opposite groups this year.
John McCormack in the Weekly Standard provides an overview of the contest in Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker is facing the fight of his political life. On June 5, in the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history, Wisconsin voters will either choose to keep Walker in office or elect a Democrat. Polls show a tight race with Walker hovering at or slightly below 50 percent and holding a small lead over potential opponents. Walker won’t know which Democratic opponent he’ll face until May 8, when the recall primary is held. Meanwhile, he’s letting the state of Illinois serve as a stand-in.
Speaking on April 19 to machinists in blue-collared shirts, jeans, and boots at the Trace-A-Matic Corporation, Walker contrasts Wis-consin’s record with that of its neighbor to the south. “A year ago their unemployment rate was above 9 percent,” he says. “And today, a year later, it’s still above 9 percent because they made some poor choices. They raised taxes on businesses and individuals. On individuals, believe it or not, they raised it by 66 percent.”
And Wisconsin? Unemployment has dropped from 7.7 percent to 6.9 percent since Walker took office. Property taxes are down for the first time in 12 years. A $3.6 billion deficit was eliminated without lots of layoffs. The message resonates with the machinists. Almost all applaud enthusiastically for Walker.
“Unions had a place in history,” says Mike Payne, one of Trace-A-Matic’s machinists. “But I think it went to the other extreme. And I think to diminish them a little bit is to really benefit us because that brings things back to a fairer level.”
Sitting in one of his campaign offices later in the day, Walker considers whether he might have avoided a recall. “If I hadn’t gone so far, would I face a recall? I don’t know,” Walker tells me. “But if I hadn’t gone as far as I did, I wouldn’t have fixed it.” And fixing Wisconsin’s fiscal problems is what matters, he says. “I’m running a campaign to win. And I aim to win. But I’m not afraid to lose.” …
The WSJ Editors celebrate that the EPA had a chance to do more stupid things and didn’t.
The Environmental Protection Agency once again invited itself to do tangible economic harm—this time to the hydraulic fracturing that is transforming American energy—and somehow . . . it didn’t. In the annals of the unlikely, the EPA’s new fracking rules fall somewhere between a Nobel Peace Prize for George W. Bush and a supply-side tax plan from Warren Buffett.
The first-ever federal fracking rule that the EPA released on Wednesday is also the first time the agency has shown restraint under the Clean Air Act since at least 2005 or 2006, about when the Bush Administration gave up on environmental regulatory reform. Given the agency’s track record, any self-control is notable—though in particular on the unconventional oil and gas extraction that the green lobby would prefer to shut down because those fuels contain demon carbon. …