RNC, Romney Go After Obama Ahead of Bus Tour

RNC, Romney Go After Obama Ahead of Bus Tour

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - August 15, 2011

Both the Republican National Committee and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched attacks on President Obama as he heads to the Midwest for a three-day bus tour this week.

The RNC launched its "Obama’s Debt-End Tour" campaign Monday with radio ads set to air throughout the week in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, the three stops on the president’s trip. “He’s coming to a town near you!” says the narrator in the ad airing in Minnesota, where Obama arrived this morning. “And we, the taxpayers are paying for it,” he says, with an out-of-tune and deflated presidential anthem playing in the background. The narrator encourages Minnesotans to challenge Obama about his performance on the economy, the deficit and health care.

The RNC campaign also includes a web video that re-emphasizes a theme featured in RNC messaging campaigns: Obama has the United States on the wrong course.

“There was a man who promised us sunny skies,” the narrator says against the backdrop of ominous music and the sound of thunderclaps. “He said we could spend our way out of it, tax our way out. We could pay our fair share. The road ahead darkens, and as he drives into the horizon, angry skies greet us. This man is Barack Obama. Welcome to his taxpayer-funded debt-end tour.” The narrator goes on to highlight job losses in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois during the president's time in office.

Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign developed it’s own moniker for the president’s trip, calling it the “Magical Misery bus tour.” In a statement, Romney’s campaign said Obama “is more interested in campaigning in swing states than working to solve the economic crisis that is crushing the middle class.”

Romney’s campaign released a web video titled “Obama Isn’t Working: Minnesota,” which features clips of Minnesotans bemoaning the state of the economy, high unemployment and government spending and blaming the president for it. "Why doesn’t he stay in Washington and do something about jobs instead of coming here and talking about it?” asks David Fogg of Edina, Minn., in the ad. “I’ve got five kids, and I just want a government that doesn’t, you know, take any more money from my kids,” says Joseph Bromley of Minnetonka, Minn., who says he voted for Obama in 2008 but isn’t sure he can support him now.

In Minnesota and Illinois, the president will hold a series of town-hall meetings. Obama also will lead a day-long forum in Iowa aimed at reaching Americans in rural communities. During his stops, Obama will speak about health care and farm subsidies as well as the need to protect Social Security and Medicare.

The Democratic National Committee fired back Monday, accusing the RNC of pandering to the right wing of their party with the ad buy and maintaining that the president is doing his job by meeting with Americans in their communities.

"We’ve now seen all the GOP candidates swear allegiance to the Tea Party in a debate, seen two Tea Party favorites come out on top of the Iowa Straw poll and seen someone once considered among the leading candidates for the nomination drop out of the race because he was not extreme or vitriolic enough for the Tea Party which now owns and operates the GOP," said a DNC official in a statement, referring to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropping out of the race over the weekend. "Rather than presenting plans to accelerate the recovery, the Republican Party is offering the same tired rhetoric that the American people are sick of."

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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