Obama Campaign: New Documentary Out Next Week, Romney a Flawed Candidate
Jim Messina (Left), campaign manager for the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama, talks with reporters during a tour of the re-election headquarters May 12, 2010 in Chicago, and David Axelrod, Obama Re-election Campaign Senior Political Strategist, on "Meet the Press" December 4, 2011 in Washington, DC.
March 7th, 2012
04:23 PM ET

Obama Campaign: New Documentary Out Next Week, Romney a Flawed Candidate

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, senior members of President Obama’s reelection campaign announced that they will be releasing a 17-minute documentary next week focusing on the successes of the president’s first term in office. The short film is directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Davis Guggenheim, whose relationship with Obama goes all the way back to 2008 when he directed a documentary on the president for the Democratic National Convention.

Wednesday’s conference call came just one day after Super Tuesday, when the four remaining GOP presidential candidates faced off in ten primaries and caucuses across the country. With those contests fresh in their minds, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and senior strategist David Axelrod used the call to offer their interpretation of Tuesday night’s results.

The call focused almost entirely on the demographic weaknesses of frontrunner Mitt Romney. In his opening remarks, Messina pointed to low turnout in many states on Tuesday and exit poll data showing weaknesses among independents to argue that Romney is hurting his prospects for the general election.

“What we saw last night is overall republican primary turnout down 8.8% in the Super Tuesday states,” Messina said, listing off 6 states where turnout was down compared to 2008. “Independents have bailed on Romney just in time for the general election. Romney's gone so far right that it's cost him the independents' support. Only in his home state of Massachusetts did he win independents. He lost independents in every single other state."

Calling Romney’s success in six of the ten Super Tuesday contests “tactical victories,” Axelrod said that the only thing made clear was that the GOP primary was turning into a “kind of death march.”

“Instead of Super Tuesday it became super-glue day for them,” Axelrod said of the Romney campaign. “They're still stuck with Santorum and with Gingrich and with the prospect of a long race here.”

Messina joined Axelrod in dismissing Romney’s victories, arguing that the frontrunner’s significant fundraising advantage meant that he should be winning my much larger margins than he has been.

"He's not winning in these states he’s limping across the finish line,” Messina said. “I mean last night in Ohio he outspent Santorum 4 to 1 and only won by a few thousand votes. In Virginia turnout was down by 50 percent and his toughest two candidates weren't even on the ballot. So I don't think you can look at any of these things and say he's showing any strength here.”

Axelrod was even more critical of Romney’s challenges going forward. Using the public debate over recent controversial comments made by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, Axelrod said that such situations are “tests.”

“You're tested every single day in different ways,” Axelrod said of presidential candidates. “The Limbaugh thing was a test of leadership and you have them all the time. You know Mitt Romney's failed those tests in the campaign, and the longer this primary race goes on my guess is he'll have more tests and my guess is he'll continue to fail them."

Topics: David Axelrod • Jim Messina • Re-election

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soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. F-Gingrich

    Go get 'em Ax!!

    March 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • JOHN

      Obama is a humanist/socialist. He is at war with the church because it is the only institution capable of stopping his agenda.

      March 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Howard


      CORRUPTION = When a man, like obama, uses the power of the state, to confiscate other people's hard earned money, squanders it, and finances loser companies, in exchange for political contributions, in an effort to get himself reelected.

      March 8, 2012 at 12:52 am |
      • Mike D

        "finances loser companies"

        That loan was approved under the Bush administration.

        March 8, 2012 at 1:07 am |
      • Mike S

        It's past time for the American voter to learn just what a president can & cannot do. Presidential candidates are promising stuff they can't do without congressional support. People are blaming the President for stuff Congress has done (or blocked.) It also would be nice if they could keep track of who was in office when stuff began. Short term memory is a real problem in this country.

        March 8, 2012 at 4:16 am |
  2. politics as usual

    This is wishful thinking on Obama's part. Nice try.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  3. Jim in San Mateo

    Romney is gaffe prone and reliably proven to be out of touch with the common man (those who make less than $100,000 a year). Why seniors are voting for him, I don't understand. If he had his way, Social Security and Medicare would be on their way out as well as higher taxes on the ones who can best afford it.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • jean2009

      Didn't you mean higher taxes on those who can least afford it?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  4. cali girl

    All good!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha He He He He Hoo Hoo Hoo!!! Game on.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  5. Jay

    Sounds like Obama and staff are frightened of President Romney sweeping him away after one horrific term. Time for a real leader who has held a real job to dig us out of the Great Obama Depression!
    Romney 2012!

    March 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  6. rcshore

    Limbaugh is just the most wonderful source of sad irony...


    March 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  7. Texas Doc

    All of the GOP candidates are flawed. They hate women, the poor, all non-whites, gays and lesbians, heck they hate America. Their 'frontrunner' is a godless cult member (how is that for irony?) They are running to return us to the good 'ol Jim Crow days of a place in time that no longer exists.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Rodrigo45

      Funny, Jim Crow was fought against by Republicans like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and defended by democrats like George Wallace. an outspoken segregationalist. So why would repubs return to a Democratic idea. Instead slavery is alive and well in the welfare system that pays the poor to have more kids, be single parents, and vote Democrat cause repubs wont them to work their way out of the hole.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • jean2009

      You are right, they hate those American low wage earners regardless of sex, or color, the most.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  8. Former Rep. - Now Independent

    I would not believe this documentary any more than I believed that Swift Boat crap the Republicans put out.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Corey

      The Documentary is based on past events, FACTS. Not Fantacy or made up tales.

      March 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  9. David in FL

    Of course that will be axelhacks attacks.. what a tool

    March 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  10. Orchid333

    I do enjoy a good ol' Romney bash-fest. Watching the GOP debates and primaries are nearly as good as watching a good stand-up comedy show. Romney is spending himself silly and barely winning some of these states? That's desperation. I can't wait to see the show when Obama finally steps in and starts campaigning!

    March 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  11. d

    Let us not foget, This great Prez beat the Clinton machine. When this administration gets done eating Mitt for breakfeast, lunch, dinner & desert, He will be wining like a baby & rushing back to Salt Lake to the Temple for hugs & kissses from his white, whiter & whites tabby nackle cult members!!!!!!!! GAME ON

    March 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  12. valwayne

    LOL! A short documentary focusing on Obama's successes will be very short indeed. On the other hand a movie documenting his Presidency accurately since the day he took office would be a 3 hour "Towering Inferno" or "Poseiden Adventure" type disaster film. And how are you likeing $4 plus a gallong gas folks. Enjoy it while it last, its going higher. And wow are they scared of Romney!

    March 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  13. rob

    Documentry? I don't think so. This will be a full blown campaign commercial produced and written by the Obama campaign and produced by a professional who has been supporter form the beginning.

    Just wait till the Romney campaign starts putting the real Obama record on display for the voters. The truth will be hard to take and will explode many liberal media heads as they scramble to defend the total failure of this president.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  14. Tyler Durden


    March 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • jerry

      health care reform...the cost of this will begin to surface in 2013 and the full impact in 2014...and NO one will believe it...the $500,000,000,000 cut in medicare is now showing as elective procedures are begining to be turned down... I would not brag about this 2,000 page mess no one understands if I were you... the killing of Bin laden, obama ordered this with only one advisor agreeing to it..ONLY ONE and that was the idiot panetta..and we now have a real mess in Pakistan..as promised...obama ordered this as Donald Trump was on the obama birth cert thing...and that is now comming back to haunt obama anyway. This is the worst presidency since carter...EVERYTHING is a mess.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  15. mikle

    What record? Debt, Solyndra, 850b stimulus, 48mil on food stamp,15mil without job. What a record, what a change?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • jean2009

      Revise your food stamp number Gingrich was wrong.

      Bush's Feb. 2008 stimulus

      Oh and that Solyndra loan started under President Bush.


      Current unemployed 12.8 million

      March 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
      • Martha

        Solyndra- correct BUT the important stuff. Bush people would not accept. Obamas people advised against it, went through anyway under Obama. Blame works only when the timing and info is correct. I do blame Bush for opening the door for Obama- however. Obama would never have gotten in without Bush and for this I think Bush is a dink!

        March 8, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  16. jerry

    ok...the BREITBART obama video is set to be released...and this is just the begining of the vetting of barry-the-obama... Sheriff Joe is on the forged birth cert, fake selective service card, and the CT social security number....and much much more to follow as the GOP begins to run against obama. Even the lame stream media will be forced to finally report of this imposter/leftist fanatic.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Maxx

      Turn off fox news for a moment and look around.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • zazu

      Well, well, well. I hate to dissappoint you but the video is nothing new and very positive for Obama. One of the reasons many of us voted for him. We saw it on the award winning documentary called "The Choice" on Frontline PBS. It was one of his best moments. on the Birther conspiracy, you should sue the state of Hawaii. You are delusional.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Anvil of Reality

      Bwahaha! Sheriff Joe? Really?

      A) Unsubscribe from your tinfoil hat society and/or gun club email list. Seriously.
      B) Sheriff Joe is a self-serving idiot and a criminal.
      C) Try and get out of your trailer once in a while and observe the world for yourself. You'll be surprised, I guarantee it.
      D) Any video Breitbart has touched automatically loses credibility.

      This is not multiple choice.

      March 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
      • Martha

        Awwww...denial. A perfectly valid defensive mechanism. LOL

        March 8, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  17. jean2009

    @jerry ....sorry but those dogs don't hunt. That lame stuff has been so debunked only a moron would believe it......

    March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Martha

      It's only lame to those who knew it but as any good politican knows, perception is everything- they live by it...they die by it and ...There are probably many many more who are hearing this for the first and the game is on- damage control will have to go into action and, with a secretive past like Obamas...mor will stick than if he had a very open and well known past. So, doesn't matter if valid or not...that's part of the game.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  18. maf

    @ Jerry, predicting the future??? 2013 and 2014 costs of President Obama's Healthcare, how dare you jump. . . but then that's all you can do claiming doom and gloom, negative vibes.
    Must be tough living near you with that big black cloud hanging over your head. Get used to it, you only have another 4 and a half years to go! Hope you are taking your meds as you might just need some additional health care, which you will get under this President's policies! Then with the birther stuff again . . . come back to earth and try to figure out a way to live in the world you so vehemently detest. It will not change for you unless you become part of it.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Martha

      yeah...but to get that health care we will all have to board those little spaceship bus thingys. Now I know where Obama gets his futuristic ideas....can;t wait to get my quota of algae. 🙂 Hey, if you can;t poke fun at it then yes, health care costs will rise becasue we will all be using it. Hav a good one maf

      March 8, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  19. yogi

    @jerry. Everything in your "thinking" is a mess. Amazing how you "analise", and your spinning of reality makes you really dizzy, how else can you put Obama's name where Bush clearly deserves that title. His administration is the cause of the horrible mess he left us with on all fronts. Do some more research, and above everything else, be honest.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  20. hmmm....

    Wow...lot's of film on Obama coming out lately.Loved the movie his mentor law professor wrote- sure it wasn't Timothy Leary in disguise writing about a trip he took? LOL BREITBART lives on.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  21. LOL

    Huge news day but C N N and other 'major' news outlets have so little. I wonder if they have an inkling they are becoming irrelevant. If they don't watch out they are going to Netflix one of these days. (If you watch Netflix stock you will know what I am talkign about ) Anyway...Breitbart site hilarious with Professor Bell documentary..ahh..whatever it was. This will certainly improve the prestige of a Harvard graduate. What a howl. Thank goodness for transparency.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  22. Martha

    Oh wow...dueling videos. Calls to mind that great question asked in the Movie 'Ghost Busters' "How many people are in that body?" Can ask the same of Obama after the releases are out. Sybal lied about having more than one personality and Obama lied about only having one. LOL

    March 8, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  23. Jen

    Do a Google search on "crate-gate" to see how flawed a candidate Romney is. Is this really the best the Republicans can do, even if it is an election cycle where they're up against an incumbent president and don't want to waste their best shots (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie etc)?

    March 8, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  24. mark

    I told you people about this guy . . .

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    It occurs to me that you one of your major malfunctions in life is that you were not raised as an American. You were raised as Anti-American. It all goes back to your childhood; much has been written about it, and it is not necessary for me to recant how you relish being a street kid in indonesia learning the koran. Or how you spent years listening to Reverend Wright spew his hate fueled sermons. Frankly sir, I really don’t care about you, or your small, and insignificant life. I really only care about the American lives you are destroying in pursuit of the green or red liberal unicorn. Instead I’d like to discuss with you a problem you have with lying, cheating, and stealing. When I was a boy I had similar problems, I always say my mother hit me because she was drunk, my father hit me because I deserved it. One of the methods that was deployed to give me something called character was not just the sift whack to the backside, but the bedtime story.

    How to Behave and Why by Muro Leaf was the story among others that were read to me in order to instill some sense of a moral compass. The book is broken into five parts that discuss the following words: HONEST, FAIR, STRONG, WISE and finally a discussion of why all of this is so important to leading a good life. That is, if all of us aspire to those standards peace and comity would the norm, and strife and struggle would be the exception, and further we all would create excess capacity to help those souls who legitimately require our compassion. Being that you lie with such mellifluous ease one example from the book I think you can benefit from immediately is the discussion on lying; “Only a dope would tell a lie. One of the quickest ways to lose your friends(voters?) and to make people dislike you is to lie.”

    Maybe if you started to tell the truth your poll numbers would start going up?

    In closing you might consider buying a copy and reading it to your children, maybe some of it will rub off on you. Considering the lies you told during your speech in a Wisconsin battery factory you could certainly use a refresher course on the truth. You know what Mr. Obama, it is one thing to lie to your “believers” it is quite another to play your tune to families that are relying on the truth to feed, and protect their families.

    That is wrong, and I will not stand for it, nor will my fellow citizens on


    March 8, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Corey

      Wow!! That was so long winded and crazy that no one probably read all of that BS besides me... Sir, you clearly need to do your own research on OUR President. There are no mystories about this man. You clearly have a problem with the fact that he is BLACK. You are one of those people that will HATE him no matter what he does because you see him as an "Other". He simply has had a tougher time at getting through to people like you because you have tuned him out from the very start. I guess if Hillary Clinton won instead of Obama, you would have had an issue with her because she's a Woman? Get the facts and get a CLUE. Things are finally changing for the better in this country. No thanks you the "Old Boys" who wants to turn back the clock to 1940.

      March 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  25. sb36695


    March 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  26. Don

    CNN call this a documentary. What poetic license. This is as much a documentary as "Bambi" is. This is an infomercial, they should have had vince the shamwow guy narrate it.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm |