Dem strategist Bob Shrum: "I don’t think the president could win" a referendum
(CBS News) Is the 2012 election a referendum on President Obama or a choice between Mr. Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney?
According to Bob Shrum, a longtime Democratic consultant known for being the chief strategist to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, a referendum on the president would not be good for the standard bearer of his party.
“I think we ought to just face reality here. If…you just let this be a referendum, I don’t think the president could win because the truth of the matter is, he may have created over 4.3 million jobs, he may have saved General Motors, but the country is still not back to where it needs to be,” Shrum said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “So this needs to be a choice election. People have to have that choice, and if they have the choice, I think the president’s going to be fine.”
Shrum, who was a part of a panel with former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), Republican Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, was responding to questions about the negative nature of the campaign so far and the Obama campaign’s attacks against Romney.
Gerson said the president’s current campaign was a “complete inversion” of Mr. Obama’s last campaign.
“Right now, I think President Obama can’t talk about his economic performance. His economic plans are quite limited. So he’s going to trash Romney. He’s going to blame the Congress and President Bush. And he’s going to engage in — his campaign is engaging in a lot of culture war arguments, on war on women,” Gerson said. “This is really a complete inversion of the president we saw four years ago… The best attribute that President Obama brought to the last election was aspiration. When you remove that aspect from the president’s appeal, there’s not much left.”
But Shrum pointed to other historical examples of successful presidential candidates and presidential incumbents on the attack, including Mr. Obama in 2008.
“In 2008 Barack Obama was out there with a message of hope and change. He ran a huge number of
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