So as President Obama kicks off his 2012 campaign season with rallies in Ohio and Virginia today, what is the Mittsters strategy?
At Ohio State University in Columbus, where Obama is set to speak around 1:25 p.m. ET on Saturday, Romney aides are planning to circle the candidate's campaign bus. The campaign will also set up a phone banking operation staffed by Romney supporters and volunteers in a parking lot near the rally site at Ohio State.This would be funny if it weren't so sad. What they're suggesting is that the Romney campaign is going to follow President Obama around the country trying to disrupt things outside the event and then have some surrogate respond to what the President said. Yeah, that's real leadership...not!
The campaign is also planning to dispatch staff and local surrogates to Obama's rally at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where the president is expected to speak at 4:35 p.m. ET.
After both events, Romney supporters will deliver a "response" to the president's remarks...
The Romney aide described this weekend's plans as just the "early stages" of how the campaign plans to target Obama's events, and suggested that the Romney operation will be more "aggressive" in coming months.
Of course, Romney also penned a letter to the President in the Cleveland Plain Dealer asking "Where are the jobs?" But it looks like he stuck his foot in his mouth once again on that one.
Kasich [Governor of Ohio], a Republican who has endorsed Romney, must not have helped draft the letter. During last week's meeting with Otterbein students nervous about the economy, Kasich boasted of 80,000 job openings posted on a state web site.Finally, the Mittster himself will be showing up for a town hall meeting in Ohio after President Obama's appearance today. You just gotta love how the Cleveland paper leads on that one.
The mixed messages illustrate a challenge Romney faces in Ohio, which Obama won by 4 percentage points in 2008: reconciling the rosy outlook Kasich touts with his core criticism of the president's handling of the economy.
President Barack Obama will officially kick off his re-election campaign today in Columbus. Given the early -- and increasingly competitive -- dynamics of the general election race, that means Mitt Romney can't be far behind.