Forget branding Mitt Romney as the father of ObamaCare, a flip-flopper, or a champion Etch-a-Sketcher—just call him a conservative, says Bill Clinton. The former president is pushing the current one to adjust his campaign strategy against the likely Republican nominee: Where the Obama team has long knocked Romney for lacking a "core," it should instead be emphasizing his connection to a type of Tea Party thinking, Clinton says. That brand of conservatism is repellant to women, Hispanics, and moderate independents, the former president asserts.
Romney has called himself a "severe conservative"; Clinton—who recently met with David Axelrod and other top Obama aides—says Democrats should hammer that point, rather than allowing him to appear centrist ahead of November, insiders tell Politico. "If you are going to pin a tail on the donkey," says a Democratic strategist, "let’s make it the conservative tail." While some Dems say strategy shouldn't be limited to such attacks, it appears the advice has taken hold: Axelrod recently implied that Romney would bring back Bush-era policies, and Obama aide David Plouffe labeled the former governor "the most conservative nominee that they’ve had (since) Goldwater."