The Republican National Committee (RNC) plans to use President Obama's words against him to counter his reelection campaign, previewing the strategy in a new memo and Web video titled "From 'Hope' to Hypocrisy" on Monday.
"He's campaigning using the very tactics he campaigned against four years ago," RNC communications director Sean Spicer wrote in the memo. "There's no more hope and change. It's all fear and division from now till November."
The video uses clips of Obama's 2008 campaign speeches, where he criticized the tone of politics and other campaigns, and seeks to link his descriptions to his own tactics in 2012.
"After three years of failed promises, Barack Obama has chosen to run the most negative campaign in history to try and keep his job," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement released with the video. "In 2008 President Obama said, 'If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.' And now that's exactly what he's doing — attacking and trashing his opponents and trying to divert attention from his failures."
As an example, RNC officials point to Obama's speech last week calling House Republicans' budget proposal a "Trojan horse" and "nothing but thinly veiled Social Darwinism."
Priebus said Obama's 2008 campaign is the real "Trojan horse." The RNC has hit Obama hard with accusations of "dividing" the country and using "class warfare" as president, and now of running the type of negative campaign he criticized as a candidate. According to the RNC memo, this will be the message of its anti-Obama efforts this year.
Spicer called the "optimism" of Obama's 2008 campaign "phony" and "cynically contrived." The video calls it "all an act."
The RNC video plays a clip of a February interview in which Obama was asked about some of his 2008 supporters expressing disappointment in him as a president. "What's frustrated people is that I have not been able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008," Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer at the time. "It turns out that our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes."
In the interview, Obama promised he would "just keep ... plodding away, very persistent."
But Spicer concludes, "Obama misled America once. We won't let him do it twice."