Almost half of statements from Obama and staff in early April were negative to Romney.  Very few statements were positive toward his own campaign.

Chart shows percent of total statements from Obama and his campaign staff that were Negative to Romney (orange) and Positive to himself (green) in the past month

On March 15, 30% of total statements from Obama and his staff were positive to himself, and only 16% were Negative to Romney. From March 27th to April 5th, statements from Obama and his staff that were negative to Romney increased 43% reaching 46% of their total statements, and positive statements toward their own campaign increased only 2%, from 4% to 6%. This is an indication that the Obama team identified Romney as the inevitable nominee after March 27th.

The issue landscape behind this increase is that leading up to the primary in Wisconsin on April 3, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan endorsed Romney as the nominee and favored his budget plan. The relationship between Romney and Ryan quickly became labeled a “bromance” because of their similar budget plans. This fueled Obama’s negativity toward Romney between March 27 and April 5 as he spoke out against Romney and Ryan referring to their budget as “thinly-veiled social Darwinism”.