Obama warns of 'extremist' Republicans
04 January 2012, 17:27
Washington - US President Barack Obama's 2012
re-election campaign early on Wednesday sought to portray the nation's
first Republican nomination battle as a victory for "extremist"
The Iowa caucuses - which saw former Massachusetts
governor Mitt Romney barely edge out former Pennsylvania senator Rick
Santorum by eight votes - launched the battle to deny Obama his
hoped-for second term.
In keeping with its previous line of
attack, the Obama campaign's manager Jim Messina said in a statement
that the "extremist Tea Party agenda won a clear victory" shortly after
the results were announced early on Wednesday.
"No matter who the
Republicans nominate, we'll be running against someone who has embraced
that agenda in order to win - vowing to let Wall Street write its own
rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the
troops in Iraq indefinitely, restrict a woman's right to choose, and gut
Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and
Messina also warned of "unprecedented" spending by
outside groups on campaign ads and urged the president's supporters to
step up donations and on-the-ground organising ahead of the November
"Watching the circus on TV, it's tempting to think it's
almost funny - but this is not a joke. We've got to be ready," Messina
Obama - weighed down by the sputtering economy and
lingering high unemployment, faces a tough re-election battle with the
Romney has been a frontrunner for months, but
nearly all the other candidates have at some point cycled to the front
of the pack as wavering Republicans have sought a more conservative
Santorum, an ardent social conservative strongly
opposed to abortion and gay marriage who had lingered in the second tier
of candidates up until just a few days ago, was nearly able to defeat
Romney in Iowa after running an intense campaign in the heartland state.