RNC strategists say voters still like Obama on a personal level
Photograph by Julie Denesha/Getty Images.
Yahoo News got to listen in on a private Republican National Committee conference call on Tuesday after the journalism gods smiled down on one of their reports (an RNC snafu led to the reporter being invited to the strategy session by accident).
What did they learn? The RNC is warning conservative surrogates against launching personal attacks at President Obama, saying doing so would be too risky.
"We're hesitant to jump onboard with heavy attacks," Nicholas Thompson, vice president of GOP polling firm Tarrance Group, said on the call. "There’s a lot of people who feel sorry for him.”
Thompson cited recent polls showing that although Obama has low job approval ratings, voters still generally like him as a person. According to Thompson, while voters think the president's policies have hurt the country, they "don't think he's an evil man who's out to change the United States" for the worse.
Instead, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer offered another possible line of attack for the general election showdown, one that will likely sound fairly familiar to anyone who pays attention to political name calling. Fleischer called the president "the king of flip-flopping" and suggested Republicans look to brand him as such.
More from Yahoo: "[Fleischer] suggested the listeners to Tuesday's call label the president as a flip-flopper on the following issues: opposing tax increases for those making under $250,000, opposing the Bush tax cuts, opposing raising the debt limit, opposing a health care mandate."
If Republicans follow through on that plan, it would be a reversal of the current tactics used by liberals and conservatives alike against current GOP front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.