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Republicans plan to use Obama’s words against him

world Updated: Jan 03, 2012 23:32 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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As Republican presidential hopefuls square off later Tuesday for the first vote of Election 2012, their party launched a campaign against Barack Obama using his words against him.

Central to that campaign is The Book, an electronic compilation of promises made by Obama but not fulfilled. The first ad based on it aired Tuesday morning.

It opens with Obama’s Democratic primary speech in Iowa from 2008: That the course of the country was about to change, and ends with an admission of failure.

It uses quotes from the president, Democratic party leaders and pundits -- all pulled out of context, edited to serve the stated purpose. But that’s the nature of political ads.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said Monday night that the party will chase Obama wherever he goes with nuggets from this book.

“We will use his words against him,” he added.

Front-runner Mitt Romney is already on it. Citing an interview in which Obama said he would be a one-term proposition” if he didn’t deliver, Romney says: he should go, it’s time to collect.

Earlier in the week, the White House announced Obama campaigns key strategy: target Congress, which essentially means, blame it for all that Obama failed to deliver.

Congress -- specially the Republican-dominated House of Representatives -- did give Obama a touch time all of 2011, taking him down to the wire on every major economic issue.

Obama’s much vaunted jobs plan, for instance, lies in tatters. Debt negotiations went on for so long, the US was downgraded as an investment destination by S&P.

Republican leader in senate Mitch McConnell has openly said his single-most important task was to ensure Obama was a one-term president. He has stuck to that task.

In the process, congress has suffered most by polling in the single digits in popularity. And it conceded a small but significant victory to Obama in the battle over payroll tax cuts.

Obama campaign has indeed chosen its adversary well. But will it cut with voters? There is still time for it, as all eyes are now on the Iowa caucus, where a battle is underway.

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