The Republican National Committee has two objectives in its strategy this week, each one designed to gain the upper hand on the economic issue in the 2012 national campaign.
The first GOP goal, according to senior Republican officials, is to deride President Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the rich, known as the "Buffett Rule." It's named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says he shouldn't be paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. GOP leaders label the gambit as "gimmickry" because they say such a tax hike wouldn't create jobs, wouldn't lower gasoline prices, wouldn't make a serious dent in the deficit and wouldn't improve the economy.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the "Buffett Rule" Monday, at a time when millions of Americans are filing their federal tax returns. This will be another trigger for GOP criticism of Obama's tax policies.
The second GOP objective this week is io point out Obama's habit of making promises and then making excuses when the pledges don't work out. The main example will be Obama's promises to substantially improve the economy and promote job creation, when neither is happening at a satisfactory pace.
The RNC is releasing a web video Monday, entitled, "From Hope to Hypocrisy: Excuses, Excuses."
Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus says, "For three years, President Obama has been promising a better economy and said he would be held responsible for the outcome. But, when he realized his failed economic policies weren't working, he decided to blame everyone but himself. Candidate Obama pledged to turn the economy around and get our spending under control. Three years later, his promises don't match his deeds, so he's searching for someone to blame."
Adds RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer: "We have unemployment at 8.2 percent," and this understates the enormity of the problem because it doesn't truly reflect how many Americans have given up looking for work in discouragement or who are under-employed. In an interview with U.S. News, Spicer said, "People want a leader who can turn this economy around."
Spicer adds that the media focus on Romney not being as "likeable" as President Obama has been misplaced. Spicer argues that the choice of a president is comparable to selecting a surgeon. The point is not which doctor one would like for a friend, but which doctor can do the best job in the operating room. The same premise will hold true in the fall election, Spicer says. He argues that voters will be guided mostly by their assessments of which candidate would do the best job in fixing the economy, not likeability.