Worried about President Obama's recent rise in the opinion polls, conservatives have devised several strategies to undermine his popularity and make the eventual GOP presidential nominee more competitive in the general election campaign.
The Republican National Committee is about to begin a new line of attacks criticizing Obama as a hypocrite who is polarizing the country after promising in his 2008 campaign to bring the nation together.
RNC communications director Sean Spicer says the campaign will include speeches and media interviews by prominent GOP leaders, including RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and will feature a barrage of TV ads across the country. The goal is to persuade voters that Obama has shifted from a theme of "hope and change" to "fear and division," Spicer says.
"We will work relentlessly to expose Barack Obama's broken promises and hypocrisy," Spicer notes. "In the coming months, you will see us drive this message on all fronts--advertising, web videos, social media, mobile technology, rapid response, blog posts, opinion pieces, grassroots outreach and more. Voters will not be duped again."
"If Barack Obama gets four more years," Spicer adds, "he will be free from any remaining electoral constraints. As he revealed to [Russian] President Medvedev, he will exercise more 'flexibility' in a second term. We cannot afford to find out what that looks like."
Beyond this, American Crossroads, a well-financed conservative political action committee, is planning to hammer at Obama's competence by emphasizing his inability to solve many of the nation's problems, from unemployment to high gasoline prices and illegal immigration. American Crossroads is planning a large advertising blitz this spring making those points, according to Monday's New York Times.
Recent polls have shown Obama approaching or exceeding 50 percent in national job approval. Other polls have shown Obama leading Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, in several swing states. All this has prompted GOP leaders to move ahead with plans to ratchet up their attacks on Obama in an effort to frame the debate leading into the November election.