Entries in 2012 Campaign (17)


Obama's Campaign Manager Addresses Concerns Over Polls

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In a new video message to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina directly addresses concerns over recent polls that show a tightening of the race and offers his outlook on the electoral map.

“Over the past few weeks I’ve had people asking me about all the polls I’ve seen. I say the same thing to all of them: We knew this was going to be a tough race. And once Mitt Romney locked up the nomination, Republicans would get behind him and this race would be tight, just like we always knew it would be,” he says to the camera.  

“You know what really matters in a really close election? The unprecedented grassroots organizing we’re doing every day in states across the country. We’re following the strategy we’ve had since Day One, and we can’t afford to lose focus on that,” Messina says.  

Turning to the electoral map, Messina most notably sees Wisconsin as a “toss-up” for the general election. He also lists Arizona as a “lean Republican” instead of solid red.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama, Clinton Hit the Big Apple for Big Bucks

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- President Obama and former President Bill Clinton were in New York City Monday night for three splashy joint fundraisers expected to raise north of $3.6 million for the 2012 campaign, according to figures provided by a Democratic official.

The pair started their visit with a private reception at the Manhattan home of hedge fund manager Marc Lasry, where each of the roughly 50 guests will cut checks for $40,000 to the Obama Victory Fund — the most lucrative event of the night.

Presidents 44 and 42 then headed to the Waldorf Astoria hotel in midtown for a splashy 500-person gala that featured a performance by rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

Tickets for the gala started at $2500 apiece, according to a campaign official. The event was also to include three winners of a campaign grassroots fundraising contest that offered the chance for an all-expenses-paid trip to attend for a contribution of as little as $3.

Obama and Clinton will conclude the evening at the New Amsterdam Theater, which is hosting a “Broadway for Barack” concert.  An estimated 1,700 fans are expected; tickets started at $250 each.

The concert will feature performances by Nina Arianda, Kerry Butler, Norbet Leo Butz, Bobby Cannavale, Stockard Channing, Chuck Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, James Earl Jones, Tony Kushner, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Hattienne Park, Mandy Patinkin, Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Wright, officials said.

The proceeds from all three events benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account that funnels cash to Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

The trip, part of a major fundraising push by the president to kick off June, is Obama’s fourth to the Big Apple this year. He will return next week on June 14 for several more fundraisers, including one at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

With Monday’s events, President Obama has personally attended 151 re-election fundraisers for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee – a record-setting number.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama: Campaign Is ‘Still About Hope, Still About Change’

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(RICHMOND, Va.) — At his second rally on a debut 2012 campaign tour, President Obama declared that the central question that voters must consider come November is not whether they are better off than before he took office but “how we’ll be doing tomorrow.”

“Over and over again, they will tell you that America is down and out, and they’ll tell you who to blame, and ask if you’re better off than you were before the worst crisis in our lifetimes,” Obama said of Republicans and his opponent Mitt Romney, who had already begun aggressively raising the question after his first stop of the day in Columbus, Ohio.

“But you know, the real question — the question that will actually make a difference in your lives and the lives of your children — is not just how we’re doing today, but how we’ll be doing tomorrow,” he said.

Obama spoke inside the Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University to a near capacity crowd of 8,000 supporters, many holding bright blue placards with the campaign’s new slogan “Forward” emblazoned on the front.

“When we look back four years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, won’t we be better off if we have the courage to keep moving forward?” he said. “That’s the question in this election.  That’s the question in this election.  And the outcome is entirely up to you.”

Obama also offered a veiled rebuttal to Republican criticism that his visits to Ohio and Virginia amount to a “hype and blame tour” — a label meant to mock his 2008 campaign slogan of “hope and change.”

“If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope.  You tell them it’s still about change,” Obama said.  “You tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the face of great odds, we can make a difference in the life of this country.”

The Republican National Committee sharply criticized Obama’s framing of the general election race as moving the “goal posts” he set four years ago.

“Four years ago President Obama set the goal posts with the question of ‘will this country be better off four years from now?’ Four years later, a crowd of his supporters gave him the answer so many Americans agree with — a resounding no,” said RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

“Even though Obama would like us to forget he’s been president the past three years, Americans aren’t satisfied with the Obama policies,” he said.

The committee also began circulating a web video, titled “Are We Satisfied? No!” tweaking the president for his comments.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama’s 2012 Pitch in Focus: Firewall Against Romney

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When President Obama holds his first public campaign rallies this week, he’ll take direct control of a populist re-election narrative that Vice President Joe Biden and senior Obama strategists have spent weeks honing on the campaign trail.

The message: incumbent Obama is a firewall against a return to the “failed” foreign, social and economic policies of the George W. Bush administration, which are now embodied by presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Romney “basically wants to do what they did before — on steroids,” former President Bill Clinton told a crowd of high-dollar donors at an Obama campaign fundraiser Sunday night, “which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids.”

Biden has used a month-long series of five speeches on key campaign issues to methodically lay out the same argument, signaling that Democrats will focus less on positive promises for a second Obama term than on a negative message about Romney.

“He offers his prescription as if somehow it’s a new idea, folks, like something we haven’t seen before, even worse, like something we haven’t actually tried before,” Biden said of Romney’s tax-cut focused economic plan during a speech in New Hampshire earlier this month.

“Folks, we’ve seen the movie before,” Biden said. “It doesn’t end well.  It does not end well.  Where has he been?”

At campaign rallies in Toledo, Ohio, and Davenport, Iowa, Biden highlighted the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry and manufacturing sector — both of which received financial support under the administration — as case studies in contrast with Romney.

The former Massachusetts governor famously opposed the 2009 auto bailout and has suggested the administration’s emphasis on greater investment in U.S. manufacturers may be misplaced.

Biden warned retirees in Coconut Creek, Fla., that a President Romney would “dismantle” Medicare and roll back health care benefits for women, including abortion rights and contraception coverage.

The targeted, populist pitch — to which Obama will more forcefully lend his voice this week — tracks closely with positions backed by large or increasing numbers of Americans.

Majorities of voters in recent public opinion polls side with Obama on higher taxes for millionaires and billionaires, for example, and resisting bold changes to Medicare as proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and backed by Romney.

Growing numbers of Americans also say they support the taxpayer-funded auto bailout, and withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Republicans say Obama’s argument is shaping up as a diversion from the unpopular aspects of his first term, including the health care overhaul and lingering high unemployment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ann Romney Sees Women Making an Impact in Elections

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Days after her husband’s victories in Arizona and Michigan, Ann Romney dropped into the Romney campaign’s headquarters in Ohio on Friday afternoon to thank volunteers and rally supporters prior to next week’s primary, citing the momentum of the campaign as the catalyst that will lift Mitt Romney to victory in the state on Super Tuesday.

“It’s unbelievable what’s happening. Momentum is a good thing, and momentum’s with us, and you know what, we’ve got to win Ohio, so let’s go out there and make sure that we do win Ohio,” said Romney to a room full of volunteers and supporters at the Romney Ohio headquarters in Columbus.

Hours before her husband campaigns in eastern Ohio at Cleveland State University, Mrs. Romney spoke of the impact women will have on the election and the shift she’s witnessed in women’s voting patterns based on economic concerns rather than social issues.

“What I hear from all women – I heard it in Florida, I heard it in Michigan, I heard it in Nevada, I heard it New Hampshire, I heard it everywhere, everywhere I go – is that moms are very angry about the deficit spending in Washington, D.C. They are very upset about the burdens their children are going to inherit, and they think it’s irresponsible of us to pass along that kind of burden to our children and grandchildren,"said Mrs. Romney.

Mrs. Romney relayed a story about a recent Romney fundraiser she attended where she was introduced by former First Lady Barbara Bush, who shared her personal concerns about the economic state of the country.

“She said this is the most important election in my lifetime, and for a woman who was the wife of a president and the mother of a president, that’s quite astonishing,” said Mrs. Romney of Mrs. Bush. “She is as concerned as all of us are that America’s on the wrong course, that we’re going in the wrong direction, that so many families are hurting because of the economy and the insecurity of their jobs. Even if they have a job, they’re worried.”

Mrs. Romney has been frank about her initial hesitancy to have her husband run a second time for president after his loss in the Republican nominating contest in 2008, but she told the crowded room that she was motivated to push her husband to run again because she believes he is the lone candidate this election cycle who can fix the problems plaguing the nation.

“What changed my mind is recognizing that Mitt had the skill set and the experience to actually do something about it because I did say to him, If by chance you can get the nomination, which isn’t easy, if by chance you can beat Barack Obama, which isn’t easy, but by the way he’s going to do both of those things,” said Mrs. Romney. “I need to know in my heart can you fix it once you get there, and you want to know, let me let you in on the little secret – he’s the only one that can, the only one that can.”

As she left the event, Mrs. Romney declined to answer a question from a reporter about the tenor of the campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Simplicity Prevails in New Mitt Romney TV Ad Attacking Gingrich

ABC News(PENSACOLA, Fla.) -- In what is one of the most straight-forward campaign ads this cycle, the Mitt Romney campaign released a new television ad in Florida that offers no commentary and no fancy graphics, instead opting to run a news report from the day former Speaker Newt Gingrich was fined for ethics violations as is.

The date is Jan., 21, 1997, and NBC’s Tom Brokaw is behind the anchor desk at Nightly News, telling viewers that Gingrich has been “found guilty of ethics violations.”

The Romney ad simply plays Brokaw’s opening “Good evening. Newt Gingrich, who came to power, after all, preaching a higher standard in American politics, a man who brought down another Speaker on ethics accusations, tonight he has on his own record the judgment of his peers, Democrat and Republican alike.”

“By an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violations; they charged him a very large financial penalty, and they raised—several of them—raised serious questions about his future effectiveness,” reads Brokaw.

The ad ends with the standard sign off by Romney, who in a voice over says, “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.”

This campaign ad is a far cry from the others, many of which are highly produced and feature doomsday voiceovers and graphic treatment over images of Gingrich.

The Gingrich campaign has not yet commented on the ad.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Undecided on 2012 'Catchphrase'

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The man who made "Change we can believe in" and "Yes, we can" hallmarks of the 2008 presidential race is still searching for a catchy phrase to define his next campaign.

"We’re still working on it," President Obama told ABC News’ Barbara Walters when asked about his slogan in an exclusive pre-Christmas interview.

"I think that’s a great question," Obama said, grinning. “If those middle-schoolers have any suggestions, let me know."

Walters’ question had been written by a young American student and Obama admirer.

While no official selection has been made 313 days before the election, Obama’s campaign team has been testing a mix of pithy phrases meant to reflect the president’s accomplishments and vision for the future – all while deflecting attention from the lagging economy and some of the promises from 2008 that didn’t quite get fulfilled.

In a slew of recent speeches, Obama has tried to frame his actions in office as a path for America to "win the future." He’s trumpeted his political philosophy as the one that ensures all Americans are "getting a fair shot." He’s exhorted supporters and opponents alike to be "greater together," and reminded his audiences of  "what change is."

Earlier this year, Obama coined a preliminary campaign slogan -- "We Can’t Wait" -- to reflect his agenda in office and on the campaign trail.

The battle cry has been meant to portray Obama as a decisive and active executive in the face of a recalcitrant Republican Party. It also appears on campaign T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons for sale on the Obama for America campaign website.

Still, most of the 116 items listed in the Obama-Biden store, from martini glasses to can coozies, cufflinks and coolers, are adorned only with "Obama 2012" -- one sign the Obama catchphrase for 2012 is still a work in progress.

Obama campaign aides have confidently shrugged off the scrutiny of their slogan -- or lack thereof -- noting that in 2008 they rotated several phrases, each meant to capitalize on the spirit of the political moment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cain Iowa Staffers React: ‘Surprised’ and ‘Disappointed’ with Decision

Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images(URBANDALE, Iowa) -- In a small office in Herman Cain’s Iowa headquarters, three volunteers and Cain’s communications director, Lisa Lockwood, crowded around a staffer’s laptop to watch their boss’ announcement. Lockwood said she was “surprised” and “disappointed” that Cain decided to suspend his campaign.

“I think he’s an awesome man and I think he would have been an awesome president. I still hold out hope that one day he will. I think he will continue to be a strong voice for the people,” Lockwood said.

She had no warning, watching to find out his decision along with six members of the press.

One volunteer, Linda Rudolph, gasped when Cain made his announcement.

“Dammit. I knew it,” she said, while Lockwood sat silent.

When asked if the former pizza executive’s decision to suspend his campaign made her second-guess whether the allegations of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair were true, she said the former candidate had “been nothing but professional and wonderful to work with from my perspective,” but she didn’t say no.

So unexpected was the decision at Cain’s headquarters that staff members were even moving around furniture early Saturday to make room for staff from the national operation that was expected to come help in during the lead-up to the caucuses.

After the announcement, Cain’s Iowa state director, Larry Tuel, as well as other supporters and volunteers began arriving to comfort one another. Despite the lack of volunteers phone banking, headquarters looked like a traditional campaign office: large Herman Cain 2012 signs lined the walls ready to hand out, volunteer sign-up sheets were on the wall with slots filled through the next week, candy bowls were full, and Cain paper materials littered tables throughout the office.

Tuel said Sunday will be just like every other day he has spent here, except without a candidate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Reassessing Whether He Will Remain in GOP Race

Steve Pope/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Herman Cain told his senior staff Tuesday morning that he is "reassessing" whether to stay in the race for the presidency and that he will make a final decision “over the next several days,” ABC News has confirmed.

The news of Cain's message to his staff was first reported by National Review Online.

Cain has been dogged by reports of sexual harassment in recent weeks. On Monday, a Georgia woman said she had a 13-year long affair with the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain denied the affair, saying that he knew the woman but did not have an extramarital affair.

Two other women have publicly accused Cain of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990′s.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Makes First 2012 Campaign Ad Buy

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign has made its first ad buy of the 2012 cycle, a senior campaign official confirmed to ABC News. It’s described as a “tiny” buy on national satellite.

The two spots, versions of which have appeared on the campaign’s website, are aimed at signing up supporters as volunteers and potential donors. Both feature President Obama speaking directly to the camera while a campaign phone number and website -- -- appear in the lower third.

First ad script: “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message. I need you to do me a favor -- it’ll only take a minute. The 2012 campaign is underway, and the outcome will depend not on what I do, but on what you do. Starting right now, call the number on your screen or visit to help build our campaign in your community. It’s up to you to fight for the values we all share. Don’t sit this one out.”

Second ad script: “It starts with one person making a decision -- that things need to change, and they’re going to help change them. That person finds another person who shares their values. They go out and find a few more -- and before long, neighborhoods come together. Communities organize. A movement builds. It all starts with you, making a decision to get involved -- because we’ve got so much more to do. Call the number on your screen or visit to let me know you’re in.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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