The Daily Rundown | July 24, 2012
>>> it's tuesday, july 24th , 2012 . this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd . first reads of the morning. the obama campaign 's relentless attacks are hurting mitt romney , but are they also hurting the president? and his brand? some democrats are worried it is and whether the obama campaign believes that or not, they are out with a new ad that has a slight change in tone titled "the choice." it's running in nine battleground states and features the presidentcamera, a technique you expect to see at start or end of campaign, take a look.
>> over the next four months you have a choice to make. not just between two political parties or even two people. it's a choice between two very different plans for our country. governor romney 's plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top, roll back regulations on big banks, and le say that will if we do, our economy will grow and everyone will benefit. but you know what? we tried it that top-down approach, that's what caused the mess in the first place.
>> the ad continues with a plea from the president for his tax plan to, quote, strengthen the middle class , asking the wealthy to play a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way, unquote. in the ad the president laments the negative tone of the campaign, that his side is arguably half responsible for.
>> sometimes politics can seem very small. but the choice you face, it couldn't be bigger.
>> when you see an ad like there is in the middle of a campaign you can't help but wonder whether, quote a campaign is starting to see issues with their own personal rating. another explanation the tv ad market in battleground stated has become so saturated this is an attempt by having the president speak directly to the camera to break through the clutter. it's a 60-second ad. romney has not had a personalized ad of his own like this. we've not seen him direct to camera. we've had a paid biographical ad. romney 's ads all tracked by someone else.
>> what would a romney presidency be like? day one --
>> it's one of those things that when you sit here and we talk about the last 60 days, a battle to basically define romney 's biography, it is striking that you haven't had a romney ad, romney to camera, doing something, talking about his own biography or his own plans.
>>> president obama 's campaign may be mulling a change in tone but after a short hiatus for the tragedy in colorado the tough talk is back. oakland, california, last flight the president pushed back on romney 's attacks over the last week on the quote, you didn't build it remark.
>> earlier today governor romney was at it again. knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that i don't value small businesses . i understand these are the games that get played in political campaigns , although you know when folks just like omit entire sentences of what you said they start kind of splicing and dicing.
>> and the president defended his comments from july 13th when he said awkwardly americansic seed through their collective efforts and investments in infrastructure and education.
>> i believe with all my heart that is it the drive and the ingenuity of americans who start businesses that lead to their success. i always have and i always will.
>> i believe that the free market is the greatest source of prosperity in our history. but i also believe if you talk to any business owner they'll tell you that what also helps them succeed alongside all their hard work, all their great ideas, is the ability to hire workers with the right skills and education. what helps them succeed is the ability to ship and sell their products on new roads and bridges and ports and wireless networks .
>> romney meanwhile continuing to hammer the president. he unveiled a new slogan, quote, we did build it, on a backdrop at a small business roundtable in costa mesa , california and slammed the remarks in an interview with cnbc's larry kudlow .
>> it's a very strange and in some respects foreign to the american experience type of philosophy. if you have a business, and you started it, you did build it. and you deserve credit for that. it was not built for you by government.
>> the romney campaign and conservatives panned the president's quote it takes a village argument. but the attack has its own complexity. the clip of romney in 2002 reminding olympians during a speech at opening sceremonies they didn't get their on their own. yesterday at a fund-raiser he said, quote, detoqueville looked at us and said what made us an unusual nation among other things was our willingness to serve one another. we need more barn raisings, more people who don't look and say what can government do, but what things can i do in the in the live of people near me. the line between individual achievement and collective effort might not be ease easy to draw. jack gilchrist, the star last week, he received some help from the government through the years. the new hampshire union leader reported in 1999 gilchrist receive $8,000 in tax exempt revenue bonds issued by the new hampshire business finance authority and said his company received a u.s. small business administration loan totalling somewhere south of $500,000 in late '80s. he said his business has received matching funds from the new england trade adjustment assistance center which, by the way, is also federally funded. look, every one of the attacks that the campaigns do to each other you try to create clarity and then you dig in and see there's more muddiness there than you may have counted on. finally the campaign turns to foreign policy today as romney speaks to veterans of foreign wars convention in nevada before heading off on a weeklong trip abroad. during his speech today, romney expected to charge that the president has, quote, relinquished our leadership role in the world and we're just now reaping consequences. the president anticipated that argument in his own speech to the vfw yesterday.
>> if anyone tries to tell you that our greatness has passed, that america's in decline, you tell them this, just like the 20th century , the 21st century 's going to be another great american century .
>> president also slammed romney on iraq and afghanistan but did so without mentioning him by name.
>> some said that bringing our troops home last year was a mistake, they would have kept tens of thousands of our forces in iraq indefinitely without a clear mission. well, when your commander in chief, you owe the troops a plan. you owe the country a plan and that includes recognizing not just when to begin wars but also to end them.
>> on foreign policy , romney 's minus my minimized risks. it's produced exchanges like this one on iraq back in december.
>> we should have left 10, 20, 30,000 personnel there to help transition to the iraqis' own military capability.
>> as president would you send u.s. troops back into iraq ?
>> let me tell you, chris, i think the decision to send u.s. troops into a combat setting is a very high threshold decision. this is not something you do easily.
>> so didn't really answer the second part of the question while criticizing the pullout. romney 's plan reads upon taking office he will review transition to the afghan military holding discussio discussions with commanders in the field, to determine the level required to secure our gains. not a plan. the obama campaign hammered romney on a conference call yesterday saying, this foreign policy trip should be judged by the kind of substantive ideas that mitt romney outlines. worth noting this is a risk adverse trip. romney 's heading to friendly territory for republicans limiting exposure, putting himself into a position to make as little news as possible. when you think about the two other countries he's visiting besides great britain, israel and poland, they both have governments that are very favorable to republicans.