Supporters hold up campaign signs at a campaign rally featuring First Lady… (Jessica Ebelhar / Las Vegas…)
With President Obama set to kick off his "forward"-themed re-election campaign Saturday, Republicans have unveiled a stinging slogan to answer the message of hope and change in his last run -- "Hype and Blame."
It's a message that speaks to the competing efforts of the two parties to frame the issues. The Obama campaign hopes voters see the November vote as a choice between two candidates, and have thus cast Mitt Romney as someone who would return the nation to failed policies.
For Republicans, the goal is to make the election a referendum on Obama's first term, one that they cast as a resounding failure. But put another way, their new slogan offers a choice of its own -- Obama 2008 versus Obama 2012.
"He can't talk about his record because his record is full of broken promises, standards that he's made and hasn't kept, and a whole lot of bad policies," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Thursday. "He's out on the campaign trail resorting to the very tactics he campaigned against in 2008."
Republican officials say the "Hype and Blame" effort will include bumper stickers, digital advertising and a "full-court press" in the media. It's a message that will be carried out in every battleground state this year, starting with the two where Obama kicks off his campaign Saturday, Ohio and Virginia.
"The candidate who ran here last time is not the same man we see on the campaign trail today," said Republican Party of Virginia chairman Pat Mullins. "He's been exposed for what he is, a cold, calculating Chicago political operator."
"In Ohio, I think President Obama is going to discover he has a nightmare of an opponent, and that's the 2008 candidate Obama. Everything he promised Ohio, everything he promised to do and promised to be is discarded," Ohio Republican Party chairman Bob Bennett added.
Democrats responded that the RNC slogan should be "distort and distract."
"The attacks coming from the RNC and the Romney campaign completely ignore facts, all of which the American people are well aware – President Obama’s actions helped save the America auto industry, created over 4 million jobs in the last two years, and strengthened the manufacturing industry," Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said. She added that Romney is offering the "same formula that benefited a few, but crashed our economy and punished the middle class."
Original source: In twist on 2008, GOP says Obama running on 'hype and blame'