Romney shifts campaign message as state economies improve

Today on It's Just Politics, co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta discussed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Michigan campaign tour this week.  Romney also made campaign stops in Michigan last month, during which, Pluta says Romney's grim assessment of the Michigan economy created some friction with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's more positive message of economic recovery in the "comeback state."

"We've talked about this before," said Pluta, "this tension between the messaging of a Republican governor, like Rick Snyder, who's saying, 'Look, we're making changes; things are improving; what we're doing is working,' and Mitt Romney coming into the state and saying, 'You're not doing that well.' It's basically a message of pessimism, and making the case for change."

On his tour this week, Pluta says, Romney has changed tones. The presidential hopeful lauded Snyder, saying he would do for the country what Snyder has done for the state.

"It kind of was becoming a tougher sell as the economy slowly starts to improve. And it's not just a problem in Michigan," said Pluta. He says Romney's also facing similar dissonance in other recovering swing states with Republican governors, like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.

Pluta says Romney would do well to capitalize upon the economic upturn in states like Michigan. 

"One thing that the Romney campaign likes about the success story in Michigan is the association with Rick Snyder, a guy like Romney with a strong business background," said Pluta. "They think that this strong Michigan message is one that could resonate here and in other places."

Listen to this week's episode of It's Just Politics on the media player above.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom