The White House Is Done Taking Chances With Mitt Romney

ANN ARBOR, MI - MAY 12: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney delivers his address on health care reform May 12, 2011 at the Cardiovascular Center on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Romney's health care proposition plan, suggested to be used instead of Obamacare, intends reportedly to lower the costs of health care and to allow the states to create their own health care solutions. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images) Photo: J.D. Pooley

While voters still have yet to truly warm up to Mitt Romney, the White House seems to be zeroing in on the former Massachusetts governor. In the wake of Tuesday's GOP debate, Obama released a video containing a barely veiled swipe at Romney, who spoke dismissively of the president's proposed payroll tax holiday extension during the broadcast. And, on Wednesday, David Axelrod organized a conference call with reporters, apparently so he could "criticize Romney as taking conflicting positions on health care, taxes and Chinese currency ma­nipu­la­tion." However, according to Politico, this doesn't necessarily mean that Obama's team believes Romney will definitely be the guy to beat in 2012 — it just means that they find their opposition to be particularly incompetent when it comes to pointing out his flaws:

They were also motivated, top Democrats told POLITICO, by anger at the GOP field for not hitting Romney sufficiently hard on his well-documented position shifts on abortion rights, civil unions and health care reform.

“The other Republicans have sucked so bad we didn’t have any choice” but begin to target Romney months before the Iowa caucuses, said a top Obama ally, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Unsurprisingly, some Republicans have a different take on the matter. As Mississippi senator Thad Cochran told the Washington Post, “It’s all coming together for [Romney]. People are beginning to be impressed with him and his thoughtful comments about the issues.” GOP strategist Ed Rollins put it more bluntly, saying, “He’s viewed as an almost inevitable candidate. He’s the heavy favorite.” A convenient excuse for someone who used to work for Michele Bachmann.

For Obama campaign, it's game on vs. Romney
Republicans increasingly see Mitt Romney as the ‘inevitable candidate [WP]