Romney Camp Moves Back into PA as Obama Camp Calls Bullshit
On second thought, the Romney campaign seems to have decided that PA is OK! Because they announced today that the official campaign—not one of these super PACs offering weird “bad boyfriend” arguments—is coming in, and they’re set to launch official campaign ads in the commonwealth.
Romney for President Political Director Rich Beeson penned a Penn-centric memo saying the Keystone State’s western portion and Philly burbs represent a “unique opportunity” for the former Massachusetts governor.
“Over the past few years we have seen Pennsylvania voting for a Republican senator and a Republican governor, and Republicans win control of the State House in addition to the State Senate,” Beeson said. “The western part of the Keystone State has become more conservative (and President Obama’s war on coal is very unpopular there), and Mitt Romney is more competitive in the voter-rich Philadelphia suburbs than any Republican nominee since 1988. This makes Pennsylvania a natural next step as we expand the playing field.”
As we noted yesterday, several super PACs have moved into Pennsylvania for recent ad buys, even though Romney himself had yet to make a similar commitment. Looks like there’s writing on the wall, and it’s been read.
Or has it? As PoliticsPA notes, some of the language in Besson’s memo may hint the Romney campaign is more interested in forcing Obama to spend more money than actually win the state of Pennsylvania. “The Romney campaign has the resources to expand the map in ways that weren’t possible in past cycles (without reducing any effort in any other target state),” he said.
So, if Obama spends cash in Pennsylvania to counter Romney’s new buy, he won’t have that cash to spend in the states where the campaign actually matters: Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada.
Most polls show Romney leading nationally by a point or so, but have Obama winning the electoral college due to his slight advantage in swing states but huge disadvantage in places in the South, where, in places like Mississippi and Alabama, half of all voters believe he is a Muslim.
The Obama campaign is already hitting back with their own series of memos, though have not committed to any TV advertisements, yet.
“[L]ike Republicans did in 2008, they are throwing money at states where they never built an organization and have been losing for two years,” writes Obama Campaign director Jim Messina in an email message. “Let’s be very clear, the Romney campaign and its allies decision to go up with advertising in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota is a decision made out of weakness, not strength.”
Former Governor Ed Rendell thinks the whole thing is a bunch of bullshit, too. As it happens, he predicted this exact situation over a month ago, when the Romney camp had seemed to completely give up on the state.
“President Obama will win Pennsylvania, and Mitt Romney’s attempt to make a play for this state is more of a sign of desperation on his part than anything else. This is part of the old Republican playbook,” he said. “Mitt Romney ignored Pennsylvania over the course of the last two years, and didn’t ask Pennsylvanians for their vote. A week of advertising won’t change that.”