TAMPA---The spokesman for an influential conservative political action committee says his group will "keep the pressure on" President Obama for the remainder of the campaign by using tough television ads to frame the debate
"Our ads will become sharper" and will "hold Obama to account for his promises" and his failure to keep them, says Jonathan Collegio of Crossroads GPS.
"Our sense is that people are ready to turn the corner," and replace Obama in the White House, Collegio told me as the Republican National Convention got under way here. What they still need in order to seal the deal is assurance that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a worthy alternative who could fix the economy and at the same time represent everyday Americans in an empathetic way, Collegio adds.
Collegio says voters now want as much information as they can get about Romney, a former businessman and ex-governor of Massachusetts. Romney has a great opportunity to present himself as a caring, successful leader at this week's convention, where he will be formally nominated to take on Obama in the November election.
"What people know about Romney is they know he's running on his business background," but most swing voters haven't been paying much attention up to now, Collegio explains.
Collegio argues that those swing voters don't care about some of the major themes used by Obama and his campaign, including allegations that Romney was a predatory capitalist when he ran a private-equity firm, and that he should release more of his tax returns. Instead, Americans care about jobs and the economy, he says, basing his assessment on polls and focus groups.
"Obama can't tell people things are getting better because they don't believe him," says Collegio.
Crossroads was co-founded by Karl Rove, a prominent GOP strategist and former chief political adviser to President George W. Bush.
The group has emerged as one of the most influential political players in the current campaign cycle, able to raise millions of dollars. Collegio says the goal is to collect $300 million.
Collegio says Crossroads will now focus on a handful of battleground states, such as Florida and Ohio, "chipping away at the president's record."