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Republican governors say it’s time for Mitt Romney to stop asking for apologies and launch a more aggressive campaign against President Obama. The governors gathered in Virginia tell Politico that while they remain confident the economy will ultimately doom Obama, this is no time for Romney to be standing back and he must go on the offensive. Some of the governors said Romney also needs to also move beyond just criticizing Obama to clearly laying out what he plans to do if elected.
Yet some think the demands for more attacks from Romney might be ill-advised, one insider tells the Los Angeles Times’ Doyle McManus. Some insist the key to challenging an incumbent running with a weak economy is to be acceptable to as many people as possible. While there’s no doubt Obama has been winning the message war this week since he was able to change the topic away from the economy and put Romney on the defensive, the Republican candidate also “survived an important test,” writes McManus, “a test of self-restraint.”
Meanwhile, Romney found himself on the receiving end of some friendly fire Sunday as a few Republicans joined calls by Democrats for Romney to release more of his tax returns. Conservative commentator Bill Kristol said on Fox News that “he should release the tax returns tomorrow,” reports the New York Times. Matthew Dowd, a Republican strategist, agreed with Democrats that Romney’s refusal to release returns could be seen as a sign he’s trying to hide something.
For now, Romney has released a new ad (embedded below) that uses clips from journalists talking about the president’s negative advertisement. The ad uses what the Hill describes as a “heavily edited clip” from an interview CBS’ Bob Schieffer conducted with senior Obama strategist David Axelrod. “When the president was elected, he talked about hope and change,” Schieffer says in the clip. “Whatever happened to hope and change? Now it seems he just coming right out of the box with these old-fashioned negative ads.”
Schieffer was none too happy to see himself in the ad that aired during his own program Sunday. He opened a later segment of the show saying he was “shocked” by the ad. “That was a question that I posed to David Axelrod—not a statement,” he said, according to Politico. “I have no affiliation with the Romney campaign. This was done without our permission.”