Why President Obama's tax attack on Mitt Romney will backfire

The Obama campaign is blasting the Republican's tax-reform proposal, even though the president's own advisors have long backed the very same policy

Edward Morrissey

Obviously, the Obama campaign believes it has hit on a winning attack in the campaign to defeat Mitt Romney and win a second term, even if the Obama team can't quite define the assault properly. For the last two weeks, Team Obama has hit Romney over "outsourcing," when they really mean off-shoring — the process of sending jobs overseas to reduce costs. Then there's the fight over when Romney's tenure at Bain Capital ended, something that just became an issue in and of itself in the last few days. This supposedly matters because of the date when Bain started investing in companies that off-shored significant numbers of jobs. Those decisions appear to have taken place after Romney ended his management of Bain investments, but the president's advisers need to tie him to those decisions in order to make Romney less palatable to the working-class Rust Belt voters that polls show are abandoning the president.

But set aside the semantics. The big question on Bain is whether anyone really cares about private-sector investment decisions from 1999 to 2002. So far, despite weeks of attacks on Romney in ads and in media appearances, there is no evidence that voters will pay attention. While Obama hammers Romney with negative ads, the polling in the presidential race has been remarkably stable. The Real Clear Politics average of major national pollsters shows that the margin between Obama and Romney has not grown larger than three points since the beginning of May — and that Obama has yet to rise above a 47.5 percent support level.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for HotAir.com. His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.