Someone needs to have the head examined at the RNC.
(Yahoo! News) — Republicans on a private Republican National Committee conference call with allies warned Tuesday that party surrogates should refrain from personal attacks against President Barack Obama, because such a strategy is too hazardous for the GOP.
“We’re hesitant to jump on board with heavy attacks” personally against President Obama, Nicholas Thompson, the vice president of polling firm the Tarrance Group, said on the call. “There’s a lot of people who feel sorry for him.”
Recent polling data indicates that while the president suffers from significantly low job approval ratings, voters still give “high approval” to Obama personally, Thompson said.
Voters “don’t think he’s an evil man who’s out to change the United States” for the worse — even though many of the same survey respondents agree that his policies have harmed the country, Thompson said. The upshot, Thompson stressed, is that Republicans should “exercise some caution” when talking about the president personally.
On the call — which Yahoo News was invited to attend because of a mistake by someone on the staff of the Republican National Committee — Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary for George W. Bush, encouraged Republicans to turn around Democratic attacks lobbed at the GOP presidential candidates (Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, for starters) for “flip-flopping.”