Last night, Piers Morgan led off his eponymous CNN show by asking his colleague Wolf Blitzer to offer his thoughts on Mitt Romney’s speech. Blitzer agreed that “It was absolutely an excellent speech from — from his perspective because it looked — it looked like sort of an unofficial acceptance speech of the Republican presidential nomination.”
Morgan then turned to Obama campaign spokesman Ben Labolt for the president’s perspective. And by the manner in which he deflected questions raised by the presumptive Republican nominee’s speech, the Democratic flack effectively made Mitt Romney’s point.
When CNN anchor asked Labolt for his “reaction to Mitt Romney’s speech“, he cited “particularly” the Republican’s “claim that because the president has failed America, he [Obama] will run a campaign, and you are effectively running the press for that campaign, full of diversions, distractions, and distortions.”
Labolt focused on the choice offered by the coming election. In a followup question, Morgan pressed the point, “What happens if a large number of Americans come November conclude that actually most of the answers [about whether we’re better off today than we were four years ago] to that are no?”
Instead of responding, Obama’s spokesman attacked Romney:
Well, the fact is a better title for Governor Romney’s speech tonight than “A Better America” should have been “Back to the Future.” Because he’s proposing the same economic policies that got us into the economic crisis in the first place. More tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, letting Wall Street write its own rules again.
You know we’ve tried those same policies before. We passed those tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. They were supposed to unleash growth. They were supposed to unleash job creation and they didn’t.
Yeah, Labolt did offer a few tidbits of good news in the current lackluster recovery, but his focus was on distorting Romney’s record, diverting attention away from “growth [which] surely feels like stagnation rather than a strong recovery” with personal income which is “flat to falling.” Such attacks are nothing more than distractions from Obama’s real record.
ADDENDUM: Not clear yet how effective these attacks might be, but it’s important for Romney — and his team — not just to punch back as they have done, but also to be prepared to address each of the Obama campaign’s critiques.