FROM: Sean Spicer, RNC Communications Director @seanspicer
TO: Lynn Sweet
RE: Weekend Messaging Memo - More Mythbusting
Obama's reelection campaign-the campaign that will say anything-has been pushing a number of random, false narratives this week. Some have emerged in the wake of Super Tuesday; others have been growing for longer.
So, this week calls for another round of fact-checking the Democrats. It's Mythbusters: OFA edition.
MYTH 1: The 2012 GOP Primary Helps Democrats
Pay attention, David Axelrod. Not only did I address this in my memo last week, but your narrative has been debunked by FactCheck.org.
In a Tuesday interview, Axelrod claimed that he had "never actually seen a race quite like this." He insisted, "I think we mentioned Hillary Clinton twice in our advertising," supposedly in contrast to the current GOP race. But FactCheck.org quickly found 10 negative anti-Clinton advertisements from the Obama campaign without much effort.
Either David Axelrod's memory is as bad as his political analysis, or he's being deliberately disingenuous to distract from his candidate's own weaknesses.
On Wednesday, he called the Republican primary a "death march," insisting it meant a bleak future for the GOP.
Flashback: Four years ago in March 2008, he used the same phrase to characterize the Democrats' primary. "There are people in the party who are very concerned about this turning into some kind of a Bataan Death March," he said.
Barack Obama himself told his supporters: "For those of you who are just weary of the primary, and feeling ... it's like a Bataan death march, I just want everybody to know that the future is bright."
And today, the future is bright for the GOP. In fact, the Democrat group Third Way finds a GOP registration advantage in the eight battleground states that keep records based on party affiliation. For 2012, Republican registrations are up while Democrats' are down, and the cumulative change since 2008 also favors Republicans.
MYTH 2: Obama's Campaign is Strong
File this one under "embarrassing." In Oklahoma's Super Tuesday contest, President Obama won only 57 percent of the vote. He may even lose one of the state's delegates. Oklahoma's no swing state, but it's nonetheless awkward for a president whose campaign prides itself on organizational strength.
According to Gallup , the president's approval rating in both January and February was only 45 percent. Notably, no president with an approval rating under 50 percent in the first two months of a reelection year has won in November since Gallup starting keeping track in the 1950s.
Even Jimmy Carter had a higher approval rating at this point in his presidency. And speaking of failed presidencies, half of America calls the Obama presidency a "failure." As Gallup puts it, this "underscores the challenge the president faces in convincing voters he deserves a second term."
In polling released last week, Gallup further reported higher voting enthusiasm among GOP voters and crumbling enthusiasm among important parts of the president's 2008 coalition.
The president's campaign is fond of touting the number of offices they are opening across the country, but it's an act borne of necessity: they are scrambling to pick up the pieces of their shattered '08 coalition. While the Republican primary allows us to engage with and identify our core supporters, the Democrats do not have the same opportunity with which to engage and activate their grassroots.
MYTH 3: There's a War on Women
Recently, the Democrats have cynically tried creating a supposed "war on women" to distract from their failed economic policies.
Let's be clear: religious liberty was the issue at stake in these recent debates.
But Democrats saw a political opportunity and they pounced. Even more appalling is the insincerity of their supposed "defense" of women.
In the last week, the Super PAC supporting President Obama accepted a $1 million donation from liberal talk show host Bill Maher, who has repeatedly used unrepeatable language to attack prominent women. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has eagerly attacked Republicans for this faux "war," has stayed silent about Maher's comments in the past-even when appearing on his show. Countless other liberals (perhaps most notably Ed Schultz) have also made similar disparaging comments without prompting outrage from the White House.
The White House, too, is apparently not a hospitable place for women. In his book Confidence Men,Ron Suskind quotes former communications director Anita Dunn saying of the White House, "This place would be in court for a hostile workplace."
Democrats should put the "war" talk to rest, before they get caught in more hypocrisy.
MYTH 4: Obama Supports an All-of-the-Above Energy Policy
With families hurting from soaring gas prices, the president has offered his favorite solution: speeches. Time and again, he claims he supports an "all of the above" energy policy, but ahead of the Senate's vote on Keystone yesterday, the headlines told a different story.
From Bloomberg: "Obama Lobbies Senate Democrats to Block Measure Allowing Keystone Pipeline"
From The Hill : "McConnell: Obama personally lobbying Senate Dems to oppose Keystone XL amendment"
From CNN: "Senate Keystone vote expected to be close; Obama lobbying Democrats"
So, no Keystone pipeline for the "all of the above" president. No affordable energy. No American jobs. No secure source of oil. Just more politically-motivated loans for failing green energy companies .
MYTH 5: Democrats are the Party of 99%
Democrats claim to fight for the middle class, but Obama and his allies spend more time hobnobbing with the 0.1%.
Obama has attended over 100 fundraisers since declaring reelection-more fundraisers than President Bush attended in his entire reelection campaign. More often than not, tickets to the events go for the maximum $35,800 per person. They cater to the very sort of "fat cats" that his campaign regularly attacks, and they frequently resemble the San Francisco fundraiser where in 2008 Obama talked of those "bitter" voters who "cling to guns and religion."
This is where rhetoric and reality collide. Few Americans could afford to attend such events. The president says average Americans have his ear, even as he pitches movie ideas to Harvey Weinstein.
The president is happy to have Manhattan socialites and Hollywood celebrities (Eva Longoria, George Clooney, Scarlet Johansson, Melanie Griffith, and Antonio Banderas to name a few) fill his campaign coffers. Designers hold fashion shows on his behalf. And he's welcomed into the homes of movie directors, producers, and media moguls.
Attacking them by day and glad-handing them by night must get tiresome.
But apparently it's paying off. Movie director Davis Guggenheim has created a 17-minute documentary to make the case for Obama's reelection. Interestingly, Obama made a similar documentary in 2008, but it was 30 minutes long.
So, after one term in office, the president has less to run on than he did three years ago? To borrow the title of another Guggenheim work, that's "an inconvenient truth."
A president should be able to get reelected based on his record-not based on Tom Hanks' narration and Hollywood special effects.
Americans don't need a movie about the Obama presidency. We've been living in the Obama economy for the last three years. We've seen his record firsthand: broken promises, failed policies, and misplaced priorities.
Families are suffering, exhausted, and ready for a change in direction. And that's the truth-as much as we wish it weren't.