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Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has acquired a staff of 50 Republicans to gather in a temporary headquarters outside the perimeter of the Democratic National Convention site. The team’s primary goals are to steal attention and drive new questions about President Obama’s leadership. The staff is known as The Romney team and is supported by the Republican National Committee. They will host daily press conferences, release Web videos and feature prime-time speakers including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
The team’s strategy is to highlight whether or not the country is better off since President Obama took control of the Oval Office. Polling suggests the line of criticism may resonate with voters who continue to like Obama personally but are frustrated with the pace of economic recovery two months before Election Day. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, only 28% of Americans said they were better off today than four years ago, while 36% said they were worse off and 36% said they were in about the same financial position. ”Team Obama can’t say the country is better off after four years,” Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer said. “This will be the most effective counter-programming effort ever conducted by the GOP.“
The Romney campaign has distributed new talking points to supporters this week, emphasizing that President Obama has failed to deliver over the course of his 3 1/2 years in the Oval Office. One talking point reads: “Every president since the Great Depression, except Jimmy Carter and President Obama, who asked voters for a second term could look back at the last four years and say: ‘You are better off today than you were four years ago.’ No president has ever asked to be re-elected with this many Americans out of work.” Another Republican talking point distributed this week suggests there is only one remedy: “If we want a new direction, we need a new president.”
During the Democratic National Convention, Romney will spend much of the week in New Hampshire and Vermont preparing for three fall debates with Obama — the first debate is scheduled for Oct. 3. Ryan will participate in day-to-day campaigning during the week.