Heating up between Obama, Romney camps
October 31st, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Heating up between Obama, Romney camps

A day after senior Obama adviser David Plouffe denounced Mitt Romney as a man with “no core,” two other Obama aides added their own stinging criticisms against the Republican presidential hopeful - the latest sign the president’s advisors have zeroed in on Romney as the likely GOP nominee.

As anyone who's watched [Mitt Romney], it’s always a question as to where he was and where he is and where he might be on any given issue,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in an off camera briefing Monday morning. Carney has previously held back direct attacks against Republican presidential contenders.

Carney’s comments came a day after Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager in 2008 and now a senior adviser in the White House, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that Romney's national poll numbers, which are consistently in the low 20% range, showed that most Republican voters were looking elsewhere for a candidate.

“You get the sense with Mitt Romney that, you know, if he thought it was good to say the sky was green and the grass was blue to win an election, he'd say it," Plouffe said.

Romney's campaign said Plouffe's comments were an attempt to distract from what it called "the historic loss of middle-class jobs that has occurred" during Obama's presidency. But Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt called that a “false attack.”

“While the President is fighting for an economy that’s built to last where we outeducate and outinnovate the rest of the world, Mitt Romney has been busy telling Americans what he believes our nation can’t do,” LaBolt said.

With the general election now a year away, the early back-in-forth just might be a first glimpse of the sharp elbows from both sides in the months to come.

UPDATE: The gloves are still off - Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney's campaign, issued a statement Monday afternoon saying the president's advisors are going to run "a campaign of personal destruction to ‘kill’ Mitt Romney because they are intimidated by his candidacy."

"President Obama knows he can’t run on the failed policies that have brought higher taxes, exploding deficits, and record unemployment, so his allies have no choice but to launch false and personal attacks. Americans know that Mitt Romney is a fiscally responsible businessman who will put in place pro-growth policies that will create jobs and undo the damage caused by the failed Obama presidency," Saul also said in the statement.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin, Alex Mooney, and Tom Cohen contributed to this report

Topics: President Obama

soundoff (48 Responses)

    This man is plastic in an aluminum world. Sad that this is all the republican'ts can offer. UPDATE: He ain't it!

    October 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • A.W.Messenger

      NEWSFLASH: anyone breathing with a solid heartbeat is a shoe in to win against what we have now.
      They don't have to play very hard this go around. Plastic man will work if petroleum man doesn't beat him to it.

      October 31, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  2. tee66

    Hey Mitt ! David Plouffe is 100% correct and where do you stand we all know not with the workers. You showed that when on your visit to Ohio.

    October 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  3. bilk7

    The one thing the Romney campaign can't say is that the media twists his words or miscontrues what he means. Just watch any viideo of Romney speaking in his own words and he'll consistently contradict himself on just about every issue. Romney will say anything that sounds good to whatever group he happens to be speaking to at the moment.

    October 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Pretty much everyone knows its going to be between Obama and Romney. As an Independent I looked at Romney but he is a no go for me because a vote for Romney is a vote to repeat the Bush Administration puppet regime. In the last 30 days Romney has courted and received the $upport from Cheney ("I would pick a VP just like him"), Rove, Dainels ("He can have any job in my administration he wants"), Jeb Bush, Suneau (GHBush staffer) and Romney hired several Bush "advisors." Anything attached to G. W. Bush is an automatic no for me. All I can guess is that Romney so wants to be President (running since 2007) that he sold his soul to the Bush gang...that's pretty sad. At this point my vote will be a default vote for Obama since the GOP didn't offer any viable candidates.

    October 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • steveo


      "Anything attached to G. W. Bush is an automatic no for me". You sure? Obama has imitated Bush on more than a few policies!

      October 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
      • Beverly NC

        President Obama has NOT imitated our moron Bush who destroyed our nation. He has been working very hard to reverse Bush's failled policies and wars that brought our nation to financial ruin, no jobs, and a huge debt. Thank God we have an actual leader in President Obama – one who is intelligent, strong, and keeps delivering successes that Bush could never accomplish. I agree Romney is a total loser and as plastic and people-hating as they come.

        October 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • Dean

        Beverly – ever hear of the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act or the effect Dodd and Frank had on the housing bubble? All done under Clinton not Bush.

        October 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
      • Beverly NC

        Yes, I do under financial laws and regulations quite well. I worked in Washington as a banking industry consultant and know it was a Republican Congress that destroyed the financial regulations that have caused financial disasters every time they were repealed. Dodd-Frank has some excellent components in it. Maybe you should read the consumer protections it provides that Republicans hate and tell lies about. It is why they refuse to confirm anyone to run the Consumer Financial Protection agency – because banks will not be able to abuse consumers – like the BofA debit card fee when it finally gets to do its job. Republicans have always been bank -bought lobbyists and I have seen it firsthand.

        October 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
      • steveo

        Sorry Beverly. Remember the fuss the dems had about the Patriot Act, when Bush was in office? It was extended by Obama for 4 years! The Dems wanted GITMO closed, guess what still open! What Bush war did Obama end? Libya? Nope! That was under this administration. Speaking of which Al Qaeda are now proudly flying their flags in Libya! Afghanistan? Nope, we are still there! In fact, the Afghanis just declared if we got into a war with Pakistan, they would join them to fight against us! Iraq? You might want to research who provided the draw down time table! Look I am not an Obama hater! That is not what I do! I disagree with policy (and not all of them either). I don't blame the President for all the mess we are in, BUT he played a role as well as Bush AND Clinton.

        October 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
      • Beverly NC

        You sure sound like a Republican Obama hater who plays loose with the facts. Bush is the one who agreed with then Iraq government to have all soldiers out by the end of 2011. President Obama agreed with that and it was one of his campaign promises. Republicans are out telling total lies about the end of the failed Bush war in Iraq. Bush created the date, Obama lived up to it, and Republicans also leave out the fact the Iraqi govt has declared they give no American soldier immunity after Jan 1st. Obama tried oto close Gitmo but it turned out to be a very complicated legal issue and warring agencies of who was in control. President Obama ended teh Bush/Cheney international war crime of torture there. That's a huge moral victory for our nation. No President is perfect but at least this one is intelligent, is a natural leader, works hard for what is right and honest and fair for the PEOPLE who Republicans have abandoned, and has made America safer by regaining the respect of the world Bush destroyed. President Obama is greatly admired by most of the world but Republicans refuse, due to hate and racism, to give President Obama credit for his many successes. They are so insecure, desperate, and valueless they are destroying our own country for some sick political games. Do they really thnk we will vote for the very Party that has further destroyed our country, killed every program for the PEOPLE and tried to kill all public safety agencies and have set up voter suppression laws in 16 states because they know they will lose in landslide if they do not cheat? These Republicans are pure evil.
        I went to colllege with one of our U.S. Senators and attended the church where his father was the pastor. I don't even recognize this man now. He will not even write me back and I am his constituent. He knows what he has become but he is so determined for power he has sold his soul to the Republican cult mentality.
        The best thing going for America now since Republicans are refusing to govern and are obstructing everything – a record number of filibusters in Senate history – is Republicans are self-destructing. Only the hard-core racists will vote for Republicans in any position. America has seen what Republicans really are and even Republicans who voted for the extremist tea party candidates are vowing to get them out of office and vote Democratic.
        I will vote FOR President Obama because he is a good and decent man wtih real family values, honesty, character, integrity, and is working hard for every American regardless of race, status, or their hatred of him. He has solutions. He can restore America with no Republicans obstructing him – so I care more about getting Congress cleared of ALL Republicans than I do these laughable unqualifed Reoublican "candidate" impostors. I hope so much McConnell, Boehner and Cantor will not be returning. They have done enough damage to our government and are not the kind of people we want in any leadership role.
        Nice talking to someone who actually knows some facts.

        October 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • TEGRULZ

        Look Bev you wouldn't by chance be the Governor of our fair state? I mean you are really the 10th person I have seen who even bothers to call him President and only the 8th who will vote for him. The guy is a A-1 loser and needs to be voted out, by the way I am very happy to remind you that our REPUBLICAN Legislature delivered a balanced budget for the first time in 80 some years! So Romney for President, McCrory for Governor and McHenry for NC10's Congressional District!!!!!!!!

        October 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
      • Steveo

        I don't know if you are addressing me Beverly or not. If you read what I have repeatedly written without emotion and read it objectively, you would have known I do not hate the President, I have stated that as a Christian, I pray for him. I have also stated that my issue is POLICY and POLICY only! I have also stated I respect him just disagree with him and yet not in every area! I am not sure how to make that any clearer!

        October 31, 2011 at 8:39 pm |


      October 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
      • Beverly NC

        I will vote for President Obama because he is the BEST leader for our nation. He saved us from Bush's financial disaster, has ended the Bush wars, has gained America back the world respect we lost under Bush and has had incredible foreign policy successes. I vote for President Obama because he is a real leader, works hard for the American People and actually CARES about ALL Americans. He is the man with real values and I respect him deeply.

        October 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Dean

      Obama is more Bush than Bush was. His biggest triumphs have benn because he followed Bush's policies.

      October 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • Thelookingglass

        Deans eyes are Wide Shut and he along with his comments are invalid. A drift log going whereever and doing whatever the repulican leadership and current takes him. Brainwashed and brainless . . . Dean has been assimulated into the collective unit of zumbie hostages, who have dedicated absolute loyalty to his captives, the republican party, Period.

        October 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm |


        October 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Since anything GW Bush is a no for you, please write your congress people and ask for immediate repeal of Med part D, No Child Left Behind, home ownership for all, send back the (measly) $600 you received, voluntarily pay your taxes at your pre-Bush-tax-cut rates, etc. Now THAT would be taking an anti-Bush stand.

      October 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • jean2009

        @C-Lo Unfortunately you overlooked the fact that in 1930's Germany there was no big government. The government had been decimated by WW1 and was very weak. The unemployment rate was at 3 million. They were saddled with the debt for reparations for the War (Treaty of Versailles); plus the cost for land they had conceded after the war, and the Rhineland was to be occupied for 15years. They owed #31.4 billion in reparation which was figured it would take to 1988 to repay. In today's world that would be about $442 Billion in debt.

        I see the parallel and see the vast flaws in the Libertarian/TeaParty movement of today to the Nazi movement in Germany of the 1930's. It is evident in the current attitudes expressed by members of that movement every day on these comment sections toward the less fortunate of society. That is why I point out those flaws of the bad side of the word Nazi.

        Plan and simple Libertarianism isn't the answer.

        October 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • C-Lo

        Ok Jean, that does clarify a lot of what you've been saying. I disagree with your underlying premise, however because the situation is reversed at this point. Nazism grew in a weakend state, but that state was weak for reasons different than we are today. They went from small gov't decimated by "external forces" as you point out in their loss of WWI and the Treaty of Versailles. The near term effects of this were a big gov't takeover to restore national pride and a fanatic in Hitler looking to place the blame on the capitalists (Jews) of the time. To me, that rings more of the Dem movement, Hope and Change, 99%ers, etc.

        The longer term effects of this have been to reduce/end "to the winners go the spoils" of war, and in fact, the winners have typically paid, since WWII for the rebuilding of the nations they warred with (Germany, Japan, Italy, Iraq, Afghanastan, etc.) because we didn't want a repeat of another Hitler rising to power on the back of a "defeated" nation.

        October 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  5. steve

    would be nice to hear what they will do to improve things, but I guess that involves thinking which none of the repubs have!!!

    October 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Jake

    if i were part of the Obama administration, I would tone down the rhetoric and save their breath for Romney. Romney is so disliked by Republicans he just may not get the nomination.

    October 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • midwestmoderate

      That is the whole point of their attacks on Romney now is to make sure that he doesn't get the nomination. The best case scenario for Obama's re-election campaign is for a Tea Party backed candidate to win the Republican nomination because a majority of the voters will be turned off by their extreme, ultra-conservative right wing ideology.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  7. David

    They're absolutely right. Multiple Choice Mitt appears to have no true principles or convictions – his opinions change with the wind, or the audience. How can he stand upright without a spine?

    Question is, will the rank and file gop support a candidate that still, after campaigning for president since 2000 only garners 25%? Seems to me we've seen this story before...McCain/Palin part deux.

    October 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Beverly NC

      What Republican does have any values, morals, or principles? None of them are real Christians either. I don't think Jesus preached to stomp on the poor, let the sick die so private insurance companies could control what care we get, let banks commit fraud and not be held accountable for people losing their homes, killing education for our children, destroying jobs so average people could live a decent life with luxuries like food, heat, healthcare, a retirement plan they paid into their whole career, while large corporations make obscene profits and buy Republicans in Congress.
      Republicans are the Party of the Moneycghangers Jesus threw out of the Temple. They are also the Party of Hate that has returned the South back to the shameful era of open racism of the Civil Rights era.
      Republicans are dangerous, destructive, souless, and without any value God would recognize.Enough of their factless, people-destroying planet. No More Republicans for ANY local, state or national office. What Commandment have they NOT broken? Adultery, Lies, Stealing, Bearing False Witness in slandering our President, promote murder of abortion doctors and of women who need crisis healthcare...not one probably even knows the Beatitudes or the story of the Good Samaritan. Republicans are hypocrites,liars, and filled with hate and greed and hunger for power at any cost. They think they are God but no one follows the laws or has the compassion of a servant God asks of all.
      End the hypocrisy and the evil they have brought on our nation. Throw all Republicans out just like Jesus did at the Temple when he saw their greed, lies, and disrespect for all that is holy.

      October 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Steveo

        @Beverly NC
        1. I understand you are die hard Dem, that is your choice'
        2. If you are a Christian, you should know you cannot judge anyone's heart! How do you know there are no REAL Christians in the GOP? That is a dangerous and highly judgmental statement! Only God judges the heart and not you ,me or anyone else! You base that only on policies you dislike or hate!
        3. Jesus NEVER preached politics! NEVER! Neither the Dems or the GOP is the party of Jesus! In fact, He never asked the government to care for the poor! He asked his people! His people failed and government stepped in!
        4. I feel for you if you think Dems are all angels and GOP are all devils!
        5. Tax evaders, cheaters, Adulterers are in BOTH parties, as well as! I can rattle off several Dems who were guilty of that! I won't because it would not be helpful! Parties are made of humans and ALL humans have issues, yes that would iinclude you beloved DEMS!
        6. You are claiming others are full of hate? Might I suggest you re-read your post?
        7. You mentioned murderers of abortion doctors and said nothing about the innocent babies that are murdered daily! BOTH are wrong!

        October 31, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  8. Dean

    Multiple choice Romney or liar Obama? I'll take anyone over an outright liar.
    Transparent administration does not mean making deals and bribing in closed door meetings.

    October 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Thelookingglass

      Ah . . . Dean, who lies anymore then Republicans. Look the word lie up, Romney picture will appear.

      October 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Handofdoom

      So that leaves Obama looking for a job , loling !

      October 31, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Allen Gingrich

      Liar Obama? Obama has fulfilled over 80% of his campaign promises; even though you may disagree with his policy, at least pay enough attention to current events to know what direction was mapped and then taken by then candidate Obama and now President Obama. Somehow I doubt that you even care about things like "facts", however, so my words are probably falling on blind eyes.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  9. no to pork obama

    its time to dethrone the wanna be dictator obama, how can he pass laws without the respect of the people, it is time for obama to go, e dethrone this wanna be dictator before he destroys all of what is left of America, American Patriots it is time for the revolution to start, Take Back America from this muslim.

    October 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Thelookingglass

      @ No To Pork, Can't take a black man telling you what to do? Got news for ya . . . Another 4 years a comming, so bend over, close your eyes, and if it don't fit, oh yes, we will force it!

      October 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
      • mikle

        Again play race card. I m white and vote for Obama in 2008, but not anymore. He is liar,and just bla-blqa-bla. Where is change, where is YES WE CAN, where is jobs, where is promise to cut 1/2 debt in his first term. Now you going to call racist ? Poor excuse on Obama performer.

        November 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Beverly NC

      How sad for you lack of education, facts, and respect and open racism. Do you live in S.C.? A recent poll there showed 49% of SC residents still don't believe President Obama is an American and 32% still think he is a Muslim. I live 2 miles from the SC border and it is sickening to see all the giant Confederate flags flying in the yards of trailer homes, on the bumpers of rusted out trucks, and in a state where most do not even graduate from high school. Ignorance breeds embarrassing stupidity and hate like yours.

      October 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Jason

        Take the trip and you can see the works of Russell Cushman of Navasota! He has made Navasota Blues Alley in downtown Navasota the home of his stiduo and many of his paintings are on display. Russell is known for many murals, paintings & sculpture work in the Brazos Valley. Make his stiduo and gallery either the start or end of your Hwy 6 art tour Oct 1-3!

        August 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |


      October 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

    The teabaggers plan for Mitt to repeat 2008. They just ingested their teabag caucus leader Bachmann. The wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead

    October 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  11. BeanTown Bully

    @ Dean
    What has Obama lied about?? He has accomplished basically all of his campaign promises, and if you notice, when he does not have to confer with congress, he is firing on all cylinders.
    Bin Laden
    General Motors
    War in Iraq
    Went from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month to adding these jobs back slowly. Only to be thwarted by the TP with the 2010 elections. We were adding jobs and getting better, with the addition of this "fringe group" in congress, pushing a conservative social agenda, we are now skidding....
    Thanks Guys

    October 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • mikle

      He lost 2.5 ml.jobs,food stamp res. from 28ml t0 48ml. jobs from 7% to 9.1%, misery index from 8.2% to 13%, debt – He promise cut on 1/2 in his first term and what we got. ? He is the worse president ever.

      November 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  12. Mike

    President Romney, 2012!!!

    October 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Thelookingglass; you can only speak truer words if you were 'terroristically' forced to take their truth serum. I agree 100%.

    October 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  14. Spinner

    Anyone complaining about Romney is saying that Obama is our man. Whitch tells me there idiots because they want the same of what we have been given the past three years. Nice.......idiots.

    October 31, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  15. Jason Goldies

    Romey, the multi-millionaire, in his own caring words: "I'm a Detroit guy, so, you know ... I have a couple of Cadillacs, at two different houses. You know, small crossovers". This is not the man i invision saving our country from the fiscal and social issues that we face. Romneys views are at times hard line and i would hate to imagine my america in his hands.

    October 31, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  16. Handofdoom

    President is fighting for an economy , thats a lie . Obama is why the economy is as bad as it is !

    October 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I say the same thing Allen! President Obama has fullfilled at least that percentage of his campaign promises. I'd also venture to say the other 20% he hadn't been able to accomplish is due to the antagonistic, treasonistic, ANTI-OBAMANS in Washington. And they call themselves Republicans and Democrats. Those should be labeled or listed under the banner of 'treasonists' and 'turncoats'. LOL! Sad. Well it is even sadder for us...the 99%ers unless we continue to stand up and stop them in the polls.

    November 2, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    What? Race card?!? Oh so you say you're white LOL! and you voted for Obama in 2008..huh? Well, what I will say to you on that 'racist note' is 'THANKYOU VERY MUCH, MR WHITEMAN'! LOL! I've thanked you 'good white folks' over and over on this blog and on many others too, on OBAMAS' behalf. We couldn't have done it alone! Tip: You'd better vote for him again unless you want to be lied to, blindsided and put out to pasteur again by the RETHUGLICANS! You know....like the 8 years under the last administration?!?

    November 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  19. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh...BTW YOU'RE RIGHT! HE SAID 'YES WE CAN'! He didn't say 'Yes HE can'! Hadn't been a 'WE' in most of America since the man stepped into the OVAL OFFICE! 'WE' has been totally out of the question in Washington. All 'WE' did is put him in office and turned about faced on the man! 'WE' started twisting the 'WE' into HE! Furthermore don't embarass intelligent whites by claiming to be white..I don't believe it for one bit! Maybe for your skincolor, and you kept your mouth shut, you'd pass but that's it! LOL!

    November 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm |