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Republicans Catch on that Negative Advertising Works

Early spending by outside groups on attack ads has put Democratic incumbents on the defensive.

by
Rich Baehr

Bio

April 2, 2014 - 12:07 am
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People who knew Mitt Romney, or worked with him in business or government, in many cases considered him one of the most decent people they ever knew. But starting in the early spring of 2012, months before Romney had officially secured his Party’s nomination for President, many millions of dollars of attack ads were running in key states such as Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Colorado suggesting that Romney was a despicable, greedy Wall Street banker. He was accused of buying up companies, firing the workers, then closing or selling the companies off, getting very rich in the process. He was also accused of causing people to die of cancer after workers lost their health insurance and were presumably denied treatment.

One might think that Romney’s Bain Capital had discovered a formula where he could get rich more quickly through the failure of the businesses in which he invested, than from their successes. People who have spent their lives outside the private sector and have nested within the Democratic Party, seem to assume that private equity companies mostly invest in businesses that are already winners and if they invest in struggling companies, they should be able to turn them into winners 100% of the time. If some investments go bad, then it must be because the private equity companies make more money by destroying healthy companies than rebuilding them. To be fair, Newt Gingrich, had launched a similar demagogic campaign against Romney when his fortunes began to sink after the early primaries in 2012, though he did not go so far as to accuse Romney of causing cancer patients to die without insurance, and his attack ads did not run in many states.

Even before the first Republican Party primary in Iowa, in the fall of 2011, left wing groups had created a campaign known as “Occupy Wall Street” designed to highlight the 1% (especially the Wall Street variety) versus the 99%. One does not need to be a cynic to believe that the Obama campaign team fully expected Romney would be their opponent in the fall of 2012. The Occupy Wall Street campaign was an easy AstroTurf exercise to change the subject — from the glaring failures of their first term to the inequality in America, symbolized by a rich white guy like Mitt Romney.

A history of the relationship of certain economic data with the results of re-election campaigns over many decades, suggested that the Obama economic record likely meant defeat in 2012. The country had the weakest economic recovery on record after a major downturn, with continued high unemployment and slow economic growth despite a near trillion dollar stimulus injection. Obama had run up trillion dollar plus deficits every year, and forced through an unpopular new health care reform plan, passed entirely with Democratic Party votes using “parliamentary” maneuvers after Scott Brown’s election to the Senate from Massachusetts. Obama’s approval score in the low to mid 40 percent range suggested he was a very vulnerable incumbent.

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Top Rated Comments   
Lee Atwater understood. We need streetfighters. Instead we have a bunch of nerds that routinely get pantsed and tied to the flagpole.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
It doesn't have to be negative if it's the truth. The Conservative version of 'Punch back twice as hard'... 'Tell the truth, make it hurt'
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Romney brought great hair to a gun fight. We need to fight, fight hard, and fight early.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (35)
All Comments   (35)
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my roomate's step-aunt makes $62 an hour on the laptop . She has been without a job for five months but last month her income was $12941 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit the site=====>>WWW.MAX38.COM
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Democrats have simply been fine tuning the negative approach since LBJ's commercial against Goldwater showing the cute little girl being blown apart by a nuclear weapon. It's what they do.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, Gosh, didn't we know this all the way back when the GOP was Cowed into pulling the "RATS" ad where Bureaucrats was faded into just rats and therefore subliminal or some such.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's especially important given the Left dominion in the MSM, to negative advertise for teh Democrats against Conservatives and Conservatism.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mitt didn't have the stomach to fight B.O. but sure seems like he had the stomach, as does McCain to fight other republicans in the primary.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Commentary's final paragraph is so typical...
This is a coarsening of civility... How dare Republicans lower themselves to Democrat standards.
Harry Reid calling cancer patients 'liars' sets a new low for even Democrats. I can not imagine any ad the Koch's fund being as vile and offensive as that petty little man.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't Lee Atwater prove that about 2-decades ago?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nobody ever successfully defended anything. There is only attack, attack and attack some more. - George S. Patton
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
The best defense is a good offense.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Mitt Romney ... was defined for other voters in America ... by the Obama campaign, before Romney had a chance to define himself."

Baloney. Mitt Romney had already defined himself as a liberal, governing to the left of Teddy Kennedy, and changing his rhetoric as needed to gain votes.


That's why he lost. It's not even one bit more complicated than that.

Even if all you say about the Obama campaign is true (and I think it is), it only delivered a 4 point margin.

A decent, honorable, conservative candidate would have blown Obama out of the water.



29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mitt (That's the House I'm Running for the Senate) Romney defined himself to me in 1994.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
a decent honorable conservative, that would have taken the battle to B.O. and painted the differences in bright colors, not nuanced shades, would have won.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree. After 26 insane debates tore every candidate to shreds we were then treated to 4 Million Republican voters that didn't vote! Combine that with the vicious media, and a gentleman candidate we lost.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Odd.... He didn't act much like gentleman toward other Republicans.


29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"A decent, honorable, conservative candidate would have blown Obama out of the water"

Not for much longer....keep that border open, and give them Amnesty, its its done for good.

29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Democrats will always claim to be the party of the people..." The question, obviously, is 'Which people?"

And the also obvious Republican response is to tell America just which people the Dems represent....elite libs, sell annointed and self credentialed Betters.

I can think of 18 commercials that don't look, sound or feel negative exposing that idea.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
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