Romney has steadily been increasing his criticism of Barack Obama since the end of the GOP Primary. Meanwhile, Romney’s endorsement of his own policy beliefs and accomplishments has decreased, revealing his predominantly negative campaign strategy.
Mitt Romney’s criticism toward Barack Obama hit a new high in June. Almost half (45%) of statements from Mitt Romney in election coverage in early June were negative to Obama. This is a big change from the GOP Primary, when Romney had additional targets such as Gingrich and Santorum. During the entire GOP Primary from January to April, 16% of Romney’s statements were positive toward himself and just 13% were negative to Obama. In contrast, since April 17th, just 5% of statements from Romney have been positive toward himself while over 33% of his statements have been negative to Obama.
Once Santorum dropped out in April, Romney was able to turn all of his negative focus toward Obama. In April, negative statements from Romney toward Obama increased 20%. Since then, negative statements toward Obama from Romney have steadily increased with the exception of two time periods when Obama successfully diverted the discussion away from the economy. First, in mid-April, Obama made his announcement on gay marriage and then just two weeks ago Obama made his executive order on immigration. Both of these instances caused Romney to explain his position on each topic, thus taking energy away from his negative attacks toward Obama on the economy. When not sidetracked by Obama’s tactics, Romney spends the majority of his time criticizing Obama for mishandling the economy. Over 50% of Romney’s negative statements toward Obama since April 17 have been in regards to the economy.