Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who survived a tough recall election last month and has become a hero to many of his fellow Republicans, has some advice for Mitt Romney: Get on offense and stay on offense. “Never fight a battle on your heels,” he says.
Republicans are nervous about what some see as the Romney campaign’s relative passivity in the face of the onslaught by the Obama team. The president’s forces have spent almost $25 million on ads this spring and summer, attacking Romney over his role at Bain Capital and the outsourcing that was done by some of the companies in which Bain had invested. Overall, they have vastly outspent Romney on television.
Romney went on the offensive Friday. In a round of television interviews, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee lashed back at President Obama’s campaign for suggesting he may have committed a felony by not being entirely truthful about when he relinquished control at Bain Capital.
Romney’s finances and tenure at Bain dominated the campaign week, despite the fact that it came immediately after the third tepid jobs report in three months, which should have put the president on the defensive.
Instead, the Obama team kept the pressure on Romney, taunting him to release more years of tax returns and hectoring him over the private equity company he founded. The week ended with the president and Romney hurling questions and accusations at one another.
Romney is at a financial disadvantage right now, despite the fact that he is raising money faster than the president. Obama is spending money raised for the primaries. Romney’s primary season account is significantly depleted, due to the length of the GOP nomination battle.
Republicans are worried that Obama will effectively disqualify Romney in the eyes of many voters before the two national conventions.
Romney’s decision to fire back Friday, as well as a sharply negative ad unveiled that morning, suggest that he and his team have reached the same conclusion as the Wisconsin governor, that it’s time to get on offense.
Walker is not convinced that the Bain-related attacks will take root. But to the extent that they fill a vacuum created by Romney’s failure to fight back or more aggressively talk about economic and fiscal issues, the governor sees reason to worry.
“The president’s team desperately does not want to run on his record, so they are desperately trying to have it about anything other than his record,” Walker said. He added of Romney: “He’s got to be forceful about fighting back.”
Walker believes Romney needs to show more aggression in the larger debate about the economy and the country’s debt and deficit problems.
“I think he’s been very good in articulating the economy message,” Walker said. “I’ve heard bits and pieces, but haven’t seen it collectively put together.” - WASHINGTON POST
Wis. voter-fraud allegations are baseless, officials say
Authorities who investigated allegations of voter fraud in a Wisconsin Senate recall election that went to a recount said they have found no evidence of criminal activity.
The Racine County Sheriff’s Department and prosecutor’s office spent a month looking into the issue. Complaints included discovery of voter-
registration documents in a garbage can and allegations that absentee ballots were mishandled.
GOP state Senator Van Wanggaard lost a recall election last month to Democratic challenger John Lehman. - ASSOCIATED PRESS