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By CNN's Wolf Blitzer
(CNN) – Among the Republican presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney is the candidate the Democrats fear most. That’s been clear to me for weeks.
Obama campaign staffers and Democratic Party activists have been going after the former Massachusetts governor on a whole host of issues, but especially on his so-called “flip-flops.”
The Democrats suspect that Romney would stand the best chance of attracting independent voters and could wind up beating the president in several swing states. That’s why, I suspect, they are trying to soften him up now as much as possible.
In their talking points, e-mails and tweets, they really are going after Romney much more than any of the other Republican candidates. In fact, they rarely even talk about the other GOP candidates.
Here’s how White House adviser David Plouffe, the 2008 Obama campaign architect, summed up Romney on Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press":
“One, he has no core. And you know, every day almost, it seems to be we find another issue. You know, he was supportive of doing things like cap-and-trade agreement. Now, he doesn’t think that, you know, climate change is real.
“He was to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights issues. Now, he wants to amend the Constitution to prevent gay marriage.
“He was an extremely pro-choice governor. Now, he believes that life begins at conception, and would ban Roe v. Wade.”
Plouffe said that Obama, in contrast, has “conviction” and “a true compass” and is someone “willing to make tough calls.”
“And you get the sense with Mitt Romney that, you know, if he thought it was good to say the sky was green and the grass was blue, to win an election, he’d say it,” Plouffe said.
Romney certainly does not have the nomination guaranteed. He has much work to do.
But we are beginning to get an advance preview of a possible Obama-Romney presidential battle.
The Romney folks, for months, have certainly not been shy about slamming the president. And the Obama folks, it is obvious, are ready and eager to play ball.