But see Reuters earlier: "Attacks over Bain Capital don't stop Romney's rise in polls." And also Dana Blanton at Fox, "Fox News Poll: Obama more trusted on terrorism, Romney on economy."
It's pretty bad. More from Chris Stirewalt, "Obama Stakes His Re-Election on Bain Attacks":
“So to repeat, this is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about.”
-- President Obama at a press conference in Chicago when asked about the misgivings of his fellow Democrats over attack ads his campaign is running against Republican Mitt Romney’s work as the CEO of private equity firm Bain Capital.
President Obama mounted a vigorous defense of his campaign’s spring offensive against Republican Mitt Romney’s record as the CEO of Bain Capital, a Boston-based firm that specializes in trying to turn around failing companies.
Obama argued at a press conference in Chicago that his escalating attacks on Romney, whom the campaign has dubbed a “vampire” for making profits as workers were being laid off, are not petty politics but part of a larger debate about economic fairness.
That’s no doubt true. The relevant question is whether that can work.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus quipped over the weekend in Michigan that Obama was running a “Seinfeld campaign,” saying, “It’s the campaign about nothing.” But in Chicago, Obama again laid out what his re-election bid is all about: tearing down the wealthy and powerful individuals whom the president says take advantage of the little people.
It’s very much a return to the pre-Clinton era of the Democratic Party and its New Deal roots. It is certainly no change for Obama.
Recall that in the heaviest fighting of the 2008 Democratic primaries, Obama launched very similar attacks against Hillary Clinton over her family’s wealth and how she and her husband amassed it. Obama’s campaign and a sympathetic press corps hounded the Clintons for more disclosures and suggestions that the post-presidency fortune made by Bill Clinton was ill-gotten.
The argument then, as it is now against Romney, was that the Clintons had gamed the system to profit at the expense of others. And since Obama was running a campaign centered on a repudiation of Clintonian centrism for the party, it was a perfect fit. As Hillary Clinton clawed her way back into contention, Obama escalated the attacks on her wealth and in doing so reminded Democrats of their previous misgivings about Bubba, whom the party’s base always found a little too cozy with rich dudes.