Romney campaign advisers are telling Buzzfeed that their new strategy is to focus less on the economy and more on social issues.
This shifting campaign calculus has produced a split in Romney's message. His talk show interviews and big ad buys continue to offer a straightforward economic focus aimed at traditional undecided voters. But out stumping day to day is a candidate who wants to talk about patriotism and God, and who is increasingly looking to connect with the right's intense, personal dislike for President Barack Obama. Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign's top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they'll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them.
The earliest, ambiguous signal of this turn toward the party's right was the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate, a top Romney aide said. "This is going to be a base election, and we need them to come out to vote," the aide said, explaining the pick. Another adviser, who also discussed strategy on the condition of anonymity, described the campaign's key targets as Republican activists: "The people who are going to talk to their neighbors, drive them to the polls on Election Day, and hold their hands on the way in to vote."