Priebus: Hope and Disappointment

Photograph by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Protesters march through Uptown, the Charlotte business district, before the start of the Democratic National Convention.

The Republican National Committee started an “Obama Isn’t Working” rapid-response center in Charlotte today as a counterpoint to the Democratic National Convention with a Web site and daily press conference “highlighting how America is not better off under President Obama.”

“Here in Charlotte, the president is going to be on defense, desperately trying to paper over the dismal record and make struggling Americans forget about their problems,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at a press conference in Charlotte.

This will mark a stark contrast from the Barack Obama of 2008 and his presidential nominating convention in Denver, when he promised to improve a bad economy with his “hope and change” campaign, Priebus said.

“The Denver convention was a time of hope and change,” he said. “This convention comes at a time of major disappointments.”

Priebus also said of Obama: “Either he didn’t understand the gravity of what he was doing or walking into and/or he completely failed. But it’s one of both of those outcomes.”

Asked whether Republican nominee Mitt Romney got a bump from his convention in Tampa yesterday — which the Gallup Poll has found no evidence of — Priebus did not discuss specifics and said: “We clearly have a lot of momentum coming out of last week.”

“I think that some of the benefits of telling the Mitt Romney story, you’re certainly seeing some of that pay off,” he said.

If the election were held today, Romney would carry Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Iowa, Priebus suggested, and he would be close in Ohio, “a toss-up.”

“I kind of think that we’ve got nowhere else to go but up,” the chairman said, “and the issue with Barack Obama is that he can’t get any higher than he is — he’s stuck where he’s at.”

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