Perhaps embittered by his stunning defeat in his first debate with Gov. Mitt Romney, President Obama himself helped plan the new campaign strategy centered on an assault on Mitt Romney’s character.
In a Politico piece, Obama is said to have been in on the strategy meeting that came up with the decision to tear into Romney.
At first, Obama didn’t think his performance was a complete disaster. But he began Thursday morning by watching excerpts of his own performance and was especially struck by his own tentative, grim demeanor — especially when he and a more relaxed Mitt Romney were broadcast in split-screen. It was worse than he thought . . .
He huddled with his inner circle — David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Valerie Jarrett, Anita Dunn, Ron Klain and Jim Messina — and settled on the theme they hammered all of Thursday — a direct attack on Romney that accused him of out-and-out lying on his tax-cut claims and portrayed the former Massachusetts governor as a two-faced imposter willing to say anything to win.
Hours after arguably the worst debate performance of his career, Obama charged that Romney is a different man than the guy he faced Wednesday.
Obama and his campaign claim that Romney lied in saying during the debate that he didn’t plan to cut taxes by $5 trillion. But Obama’s counterclaim, laced with unusually direct charges of dishonesty, is itself misleading.
Romney has vowed that he will balance a cut in marginal rates by slashing deductions, which tend to benefit the wealthy the most.
A Romney adviser recently suggested that if Romney couldn’t get the deductions, he’d have to pare back the rate cuts. But even if the cuts are not completely balanced, Romney would not be making anywhere close to $5 trillion in tax cuts.