Romney will be in Europe as Obama campaigns this week, until all eyes shift Friday to a monthly jobs report.
WASHINGTON-- Can politics compete with gymnastics? The week ahead may be one of the most challenging for the message mavens of the presidential campaigns as they try to break through Olympic fever.
That fever may not subside until Friday, when the monthly jobs report may once again remind Americans of the sober economic realities they face. But until then, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney are trying different approaches as they seek the attention of a voting public that is more focused on actual sports instead of the sport of politics. Here is a look at the week ahead for the candidates and what effect the jobs report could have:Obama
The president's team is trying the traditional approach: television commercials and visits to swing states.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Obama will make campaign stops in Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
The message he delivers will most likely be the same as it has been: a combination of attacks on Romney and a defense of Obama's tenure in the White House.
His TV ads will echo those messages. The campaign is running a commercial that features Obama talking about America being a country of "workers and doers and dreamers." In the ad, the president says he believes in "fighting for the middle class, because if they are prospering, all of us will prosper."
The campaign also is running an ad accusing Romney of opposing insurance coverage for contraception, wanting to overturn Roe vs. Wade and supporting a law that would have banned abortion, even in cases of rape and incest (a charge that Romney's campaign heatedly denies).Romney
Romney will take a different approach, having chosen to spend the first half of the week in Europe meeting foreign leaders. That leaves the domestic conversation to Romney's surrogates and his campaign commercials.
On Sunday, Romney delivered remarks in Israel, pledging to respect that country's right to take pre-emptive action against Iran. On Tuesday, he will speak in Poland after two days of discussions there.
In the meantime, Romney has run an ad accusing the president of disrespecting small businesses. (Obama and his allies say his remarks are being taken out of context.)
In the commercial, the owner of a small business asks Obama, "Why are you demonizing us?" Romney's campaign will push that message even while he is abroad.Jobs report
Perhaps nothing either candidate does will compete with the London Olympics quite as effectively as the jobs report that will be released Friday morning in Washington.
The monthly data will show how many jobs were added or lost in July and whether the unemployment rate has changed from 8.2 percent.
Most economists do not expect a major move in either direction.
If that expectation proves true, Romney -- who will return from Europe by the end of the week -- will seize on the weak job growth numbers as further evidence that Obama's policies are not working.