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BLITZER'S BLOG: When will President Obama start naming names?
March 22nd, 2012
04:09 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: When will President Obama start naming names?

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

– Vice President Joe Biden is now willing to name names in going after Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. President Obama is now increasingly willing to go after them, but he’s still avoiding naming names.

Here’s how he criticized Romney on health care mandates this week in an interview with Public Radio International:

“We designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans, including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different.”

President Obama is certainly in full campaign mode, raising lots of money at fundraising events across the country and speaking in key battleground states like Ohio, but he also wants to take the high road. He’s leaving the harder hitting campaign rhetoric to Biden and his other aides and supporters.

That is the way it is for an incumbent president. That is also smart for now.

I remember covering President Bill Clinton when he was up for re-election 1996 and President George Bush when he was up for re-election in 2004. At this stage in the process, they were both wisely seeking to take full advantage of being in the White House, acting presidential and leaving the more blatant political activity to their supporters.

The so-called Rose Garden strategy can be effective.

But at some point, the presidential gloves really come off. That will certainly happen by the time of the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in early September. But I suspect it could happen a lot earlier.

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Filed under: 2012 election • Barack Obama • Politics • Situation Room • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. C. Normal

    President Obama HAS been naming names. I am disappointed CNN has not noticed.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  2. Saeed

    I am convinced that Mr.Obama nstads tall among all his contemporary politicians, as he understands muslims better,as he has recently mentioned his Pakistani friends and thier families he has visited. Perhaps Mr.Manmohan Singh also knows them well as he was born there.Others were lacking in understanding Muslims better. They are also nice people their religion doesnot support cut throat money lenders, such as those US jews who are actually responsible for the gloom facing world today due to thier greed for more, and never ending. Some day it has to come to a situation as seen now, the sooner we get it over with the better for the whole world.

    April 5, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  3. nevra

    its his quality and how smart he is whoever says he doesnt have name to name when the time comes it will be only him to talk and give names we all know how clean republicans are,right.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  4. Perk

    Ask Turner what he thinks about the US missile defense and nuclear weapons policy....and Obama's off mic moment.What exactly did Obama mean saying that he'd have more flexibility after the election ? Does he know he's going to win ?

    March 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  5. alex wotton

    why does this Wolf guy exaggerate so much…..e.g only tv channel to report this first, only tv channel to say this and that…. com'on on… don't you know others are also clever. cnn needs to train him again. unnecessary drama…. keep it real or else it's a fail

    March 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  6. Oliver El Paso, TX

    When Obama became president the respectfulness was trow out the window by GOP, they refuse to respect the President of US and they still doing it, at the same time Obama has become more aggressive let the game began!

    March 25, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  7. Puddin

    I agree, "Obama has more class in one pinky than all the Repub candidates put together." If he had not accomplished anything but the part of the Affordable Healthcare Act that prevents insurance companies from dropping anyone due to a pre-existing condition, I would vote for him. As for being "only a community organizer" before throwing his name in the hat for president, it seems to me that would be better preparation for becoming president than say.....being the owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Vibinya

      Obama is doing what he can but we live in a democracy. Everything that he and the aotecrdms are trying to achieve has been shot down by the Republicans who have been voting No on everything. Don't blame the people that are trying to help the middle class, blame the people that are holding middle class tax cuts just so the very wealthy can keep their yachts and 2nd summer homes. Besides, it was the failed right wing/Bush policies that caused the unemployment in the first place.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  8. Angela Calabrese

    President Obama has done a good job, passing some important legislation, despite the ridiculously oppositional Congress, with the influx of Tea Party Republicans. Boehner couldn't even get them to compromise, which is a characteristic of Congress throughout history. Obama deserves reelection. Bin Laden, and many other terrorists are gone, because of him, and we are finally out of Iraq, with a cohesive plan to get out of Afghanistan. Gas prices have very little to do with the President (in Jan. 2001, when GWB came into office, they were $1.46 per barrell – in Summer 2008, they were $4.16 a barrel). Obama denied the Keystone Project based on the Republican Governor of Nebraska's letter imploring him to reject it due to the high possibility that it would poison the aquifer, rendering the Midwest with contaminated water. People, the economy is growing – the stock market is way up, housing is beginning to get better, and unemployment is down. GM is alive and doing well. What is wrong here??? The only thing I can come up with as far as the vitriol in some of these letters, is that too many people listen to Fox News, and some, unfortunately, have a very racist heart. You are entitled to your opinion, but not the facts.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:47 am |
  9. kkjyhs

    The 3 Stooges (Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich) continue to feed red meat to their base. That works because they are giving the base what the base wants to hear. Doesn't matter that it's all smoke and mirrors. $2.50 gas? Really? How?
    The strategy won't work with the general electorate, however. Obama will win handily. Cause really, does it make any sense to trust the country's well being to politicians that can't even run an effective, home-crowd friendly campaign without mucking it up? No thanks. Four more years of intelligence and forward thinking please.

    March 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  10. doug

    "but he’s still avoiding naming names"........He's avoiding because he has nothing

    March 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  11. Maria

    President Obama has more class in one pinky than all the others combined. I'm not even going to measure intelligence. Off the charts man. Off the charts.

    March 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  12. Doug Ericson

    There is no need for Obama to rachet it up yet because the Republicans are still trying to pick a candidate. If Romney clinches the nomination then it is the Democrats turn to vet him. Since the Republicans have given Romney a free pass for the most part, I am expecting there will be some interesting news about his background that hasn't come out yet.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Ivan

      Relations with Obama better than eteecxpd: Hillary“Comments given on the above”Differences have no life of their own; they persist so long as maturity does not recognize leadership for maturity. Leaders of their class of statesmanship are blessed to recognize that virtue in them of state “agree to disagree” or the vise versa of it and yet they remain fresh the next morning to say good morning that they mean from their heart with reciprocal gesture for work giving respect to the status of it on positions of power.

      April 5, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  13. GOP Observer

    America no longer believe much of anything Mr Obama says anymore - and that is a very said indictment of his Administration -– Obama will be most remembered for divisiveness, partisanship, lack of transparency, misinformation, lack of leadership, and way way over his head when it comes to the economy and foreign affairs -- Mr Obama was a community organizer when he took office, and his skills sets are about at that same level today.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Stands to reason

      It's amazing to me that so many people persist in parroting talking points that simply don't hold up to reality. Has there been some lack of transparency in the administration? Sure. No worse than we got from the Bush admin, but bad enough to disappoint many of his supporters who believed he'd be different. But divisive? Not half as divisive and obstinate as the Republicans in Congress have been. And misinformation? There's a reason significant numbers of Americans absurdly, disgustingly, embarrassingly believe that he's a Socialist, an Islamist, and was born in Kenya. It's because of the constant, coordinated, blaring disinformation coming from the right, from people who don't care a whit about truth or reality. And over his head with the economy and foreign affairs? What on earth is your basis for saying that? On both accounts, he's gotten results that Republicans would be hailing as superhuman if one of theirs were in office. Can you back up what you're saying?

      March 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
      • educated

        yes, i can back that up without spending 30 min on the thesaurus app. look at the numbers; he's been a horrible president. what happened to all the campaign promises from 2008??? maybe he's too busy campaigning in those mysterious extra 7 states... what a joke.

        March 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Alameda, Ca

      I think you are referring to our last President of 8 years of disgrace.
      divisiveness, partisanship = GOP
      lack of transparency, misinformation= Republicans
      economy and foreign affairs=President Obama rebuilt both.
      Come to Europe and look for yourself. We don't have to identify as Canadian any more.

      read your newspapers!!

      Obama/Biden 2012

      March 23, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  14. Jim

    Obama will name names when the teleprompter provides them.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  15. John Amadi

    The President will only speak once the nominee is chosen. He is in full campaign mode but we have yet to see what (now) President Barack Obama will say against the nominee. Obama was a candiate 4 years ago. He is now President so it will be interesting to see how he has either gotten stronger or weaker. hmm this will be fun.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  16. jane marian

    It's probably safe to start naming Mitt Romney just about now as there isn't a snowball's chance in hell any of the others
    will win.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  17. Andrew

    Obama doesn't really have to do anything. The GOP candidates continue to feed the public a load of crazy talk and positions no normal individual would get behind. I think Obama will wait for the fall to destroy whom ever the GOP pick. Obama hasn't been perfect but what I see on the other side is just madness wrapped in complete denial of reality.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  18. Trailboss

    I think the President should stick with his plan because the party of ( GOP ) GAS,OIL & PETROLEUM let them have at it. They care for women, gay's, seniors, black's and we can go on. Here's what I don't understand who are they campaigning for seems to me they are running everyone away.... People we are all being played first of all everybody that ran all have books and what better way to sale your book free and get paid for it while you're doing it.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  19. HL

    I would love to see someone else besides him in the White House....

    March 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  20. Teaparty01

    Does he call Romney the SNAP Card governor ?

    March 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  21. Dave

    The president's campaign is exactly right, and it is driving Blitzer crazy. He doesn't have to do or say a thing; Republicans will do all the dirty work for him, and he never will get accused of going negative. Doesn't have to – they are eating themselves alive.

    Also, where were you in 2004, Wolfe Blitzer, when President Bush refused to refer to John Kerry as anything other than "my opponent" ? It obviously never bothered you in that election.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  22. Cowshed

    What Mr. Obama as well as most of the media talking heads seem to fail to realize is that there is one major difference between Obamacare and Romneycare: that is that, even if the provisions of the two bills were identical, which it is not, one, Romneycare, was done at the state level, where such legislation, if done at all, should take place. Obamacare was done at the Federal level, even though the federal government has no business meddling in medical care. Members of the liberal democrat party think everything must be controlled at the federal level, which just isn't so. It just adds a layer of expensive and unnecessary bureaucracy.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Why do people want name-calling and fist-a-cuffs?

    What ever happened to the gentlemen and gentlewomen? Where are the statesmen and women?

    Is PRESIDENT Obama the only civil person in politics? He refers to others by their title - heck, I guess if news organizations never refer to our PRESIDENT, why should any of the other knuckle-draggers?

    March 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  24. David

    Meaning, "I hope he starts naming names very soon". Why doesn't Wolf just join the campaign? Anyway, there is no uncertainty as to who the president is referring to. It's not any more presidential than simply saying the name.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  25. Randy

    Obama is very good at following appropriate forms in this kind of thing. But it's also smart not to give Romney that help right now. There is still a strong chance that Romney won't win enough delegates in the primaries to avoid a showdown of sorts at the GOP convention. The President getting into an open argument with him now would pretty much make him the presumptive nominee and help him to avoid some of the pain he's going through in the primaries.

    Having a top aide openly and colorfully admit that he's just bsing conservative primary voters in order to get the nomination probably isn't going to help him finish this up any time soon. Obama isn't going to help either.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  26. joshua

    Apparently, Obama is above criticism. He certainly is above any question that might try to pin him down on his many failures, lies and distortions. 2 lies just today. A). The US only has 2% of the worlds oil reserves. B). 1/2 Billion dollars lost on Solyndra was Congress' fault.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Situs

      My hair stylist doesn't have the ierepexnce to lead the nation. Does that mean I hate her?For that matter, I don't have the ierepexnce to lead the nation. Does that mean I hate myself?Sky, you come to some very odd conclusions sometimes. You liberals like to throw the word hate around a lot, don't you?Just because we think someone doesn't have the ierepexnce to lead the nation, doesn't mean we hate the person. I'm not voting for Obama but I do not hate the man. I don't hate anybody. Not even you. .

      April 4, 2012 at 5:30 am |
  27. Jim Thomas

    Our country needs the Keystone project now not down the road.Isay the EPA and oil companies are paying off to stop this project to keep prices high for their own greed.That is why we need to VOTE ALL INCUMBANTS OUT NOW.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      The canadian oil allready reaches oklahoma. the southern part will bw built. it just might employ 3000 people. as for the tar sand oil it all will be sold over seas. that is why it is to reach the texas coast. and suprise the tar sands oil can not be refined into gasoline.

      March 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  28. Ed Churchill

    Name Names - The GOP contenders call Obama by name - and not as the DEM - Name Names of those those who do a double cross, call out the GOP primary candidates and have them explain how to get gas prices down to $2.50 a gallon, exactly how the plan tp balance and reduce the deficient and still reduce taxes. I need for them to explain, in simple language, in detail how they can pull off the miracles they say they can perform...

    March 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • L. Bradford

      Read the Ryan Budget, and you will know. I may not agree with everything in it, but it will get us back on track. Oh, on the Medicare front, you will be able to have Medicare as you know it or with other options. Get ready for the lying Obama and the lying Democrats to tell you otherwise. That my friend is the facts.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • David

      Agree, Ed. Each of them has made absurd claims against all logic, reason, and economic reality with no accountability – once America demands proof and a valid explanation, their entire platform will collapse

      March 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  29. king

    Obama need to swing back specifically at these repubs, who has been bombing him with lies and miss information. The people need to be reminded of his character, is he docile or is he the fighter they know of. The repubs with their corporation backers will be going at him full throttle. And these greedy oil jugganauts and tea partiers will not hold back their punches. Obama is an underdog, because he's fighting for the average person interest, against corporate jugganauts, who are using the repubs as puppets.

    March 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • The King

      He can swing back all he wants, but he will be whiffing at the plate. The facts never have supported the prince darling of the environmentalists and the left. He is SOOOO out of his league on energy matters. They are a far cry from community organizing or teaching constitutional law.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • dano

      Please explain the lies and misinformation that the GOP is spreading about Obama.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • jparker

      Wait till Mittins wins the nomination, Obama is going to give him a real good beating.

      March 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Lee

      President Obama can't swing. Then, he will be seen as an agressor. The one thing American don't want to see is an angry black man. He must take the High Road as he has already done. Don't worry, the Republicans always cut their own throats!

      March 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
      • Marry

        You are so right, Lee!
        What bothers me a lot is the “aggression” and “fighting” and “beating” and “misleading” when talking about election campaigns and candidates. Of cause, elections are more complicated than many voters can even imagine because for many (specially the 1%) a lot of money is on the line. But for the “normal” people a lot more is on the line – in many cases even their life (think of the environment, wars, health, education, etc. etc). So it would be desirable if candidates would go through the trouble to think of it more as a job interview before the people and why they should be elected. But, no, most candidates (GOP) just do not want to talk really too/with the people – and when someone does it as the President is doing – some people scream they heads of (teleprompter, lies, empty suit etc.) instead of trying to listen and to educate them self’s. Sad, very sad!
        President Obama 2012 = 4 more years of is class, intelligence, diplomacy, successful hard work to benefit YOU!

        March 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  30. Mike Cornett

    The President is a strong believer in energy efficiency. He will use his energy to attack the GOP winner.

    March 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • The King

      He needs to use some of that energy to pack his luggage and leave the White House for good!

      March 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • Umang

        “On the wider meaning of the word Secular”Secular means the sritlaoy horizon in one that by one’s nature of its genetic composition remains of its natural dormant state of God in one without one’s even knowing about it because its outflow of nature in one does not allow in one to bend subtly towards a religion with priority or superiority over other religions or even with a Dharma that one tends to acquire under the term of secularism and secularism cannot be called Secular because secularism is a derivation from the word Secular of its state of perfection as imperfection for recovery on the singular term Secular qualifying secular credentials that are constitutionally based for becoming. Mahatma Gandhi of India for instance was Secularly based of its unconscious political base of its Charisma in play that saw Jinnah of its state of secularism yielding or submitting to Muslims personal law for a separate Muslim state and that is why all the controversy has come to be seen on Jaswant Singh’s book released on Jinnah that is not meant for public consumption because basically it is seen contradicting the Secular credential constitutionally based where God of its sritlaoy horizon stands to hammer it as such through the emerging voices on it. It is a sorry state for the ex Minister’s charisma that has developed into knowledge for all to know.

        April 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

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