Given that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is plugged into President Barack Obama’s re-election headquarters in Chicago, it’s worth noting how he looks at the Republican presidential contest.
Following Newt Gingrich’s tussle with David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press” over Rush Limbaugh, freedom of religion and insurance coverage for contraceptives, Reed was on a shoot-the-wounded panel offering analysis.
It’s instructive to note that the mayor of Atlanta gave little mention to Gingrich, the former Georgia congressman – except in terms of his impact on Mitt Romney.
”What’s happening is the core conservatives, meaning Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, are really damaging Mitt Romney and they’re damaging on every front. He can’t talk about Bain because they’ve attacked him on Bain for job destruction. He can’t talk about the Olympics because they’ve turned that into a commentary on earmarks.
“He can’t talk about being governor of Massachusetts because his signature bill was the healthcare bill. But the problem that he has is he has true conservatives who are making these attacks as opposed to Democrats.”
Reed served as the Obama’s defender when another panelist described the president’s call to a law school student who had been called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh as an “overreach:”
” I don’t think it was an over-reach for the president to call because it draws the contrast of the president’s position around women and Mitt Romney’s conversation around women and the Republican, Republican Party’s conversation around women. So it was not a mistake.
“The future of politics is performance and this shows that Mitt Romney is not adept at changing, of responding to the environment, and of thinking on his feet.”
As for what Obama needs to do while Republicans continue to sort out their nomination, we offer this clip:
Said the mayor of Atlanta:
”What I’m worried about is what we don’t know. I think he’s right to talk about the decision he made around the auto bailout. We did talk about that before. But I think the president has effectively put his–himself in the position to win Michigan and to win Ohio and do well there. That’s why it’s key. He’s got to keep talking about it.
“But on the fuel cost that we’re dealing with, he’s got to let folks know that he has empathy. You all mentioned Bill Clinton earlier — he’s got to let the American public know that he’s doing every single thing he can because folks will likely feel a pinch around the gas costs, gas prices. He’s also got to have a conversation about his grand bargain.
“In order to keep independents, he’s got to continue to talk about his efforts to reduce the debt and deficit. He’s got to get out in front of that right now.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider