Mitt Romney isn't yet the GOP nominee, but President Obama's re-election campaign is already preparing to wage war on the former Massachusetts governor.
Sources close to the Obama campaign tell Politico's Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin that they are planning a "ferocious personal assault" on Romney's character and business background.
"Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney," a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House tells Politico.
And how exactly is Obama planning to do that? The president's re-election team won't simply focus on the usual knocks against Romney--including his flip-flops on abortion and other issues. They are going to hit Romney where it really hurts: They are going to make fun of his jeans.
As The Ticket previously reported, Romney has tweaked his image ever so slightly on the campaign trail in recent months. In March, he was spotted in Gap skinny jeans at a campaign event in New Hampshire, a wardrobe modification apparently suggested by his wife in hopes that Romney wouldn't appear so stuffy on the trail.
Now Democrats close to the Obama campaign tell Politico they'll focus on Romney's denim makeover--as a part of a larger attempt to play up what they describe as Romney's "weirdness."
No doubt, the former Massachusetts governor's awkwardness as a candidate is an easy target for any of his opponents, but picking on his jeans is an odd choice for the Obama campaign, given the president's own complicated history with denim.
It wasn't long ago that Obama was widely mocked for showing up in a baggy pair of "dad's jeans" to throw out the first pitch at the 2009 Major League Baseball all-star game. The president later owned up to his "frumpy" look--and has subsequently been spotted in some more modern-looking jeans. But he still defended his choice of attire.
"The jeans are comfortable," the president later insisted to NBC's Meredith Viera. "For those of you who, you know, want your president to, you know, look great in his tight jeans, I'm sorry, I'm not the guy."
In a statement issued this morning, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades called the Obama strategy "despicable"--though he wasn't just talking about the coming attacks on his boss's jeans.
"It is disgraceful that President Obama's campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to 'kill' his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks," Rhoades said. "President Obama will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed."