Rapid response: Romney's hitting back much quicker than McCain did

Many conservative bloggers and reporters believe that mainstream publications and networks ignore stories that make the president or his allies look bad. One of the few surefire ways to force the media to cover a story they would prefer to ignore is to have the Republican presidential candidate talk about it. In 2008, McCain’s refusal to do so was particularly hobbling, but the Romney campaign is, so far at least, proving more willing to highlight those controversial topics or ones best handled with a bit of laughter — and utilizing the later hours of the campaign news cycle to do it.

“Twitter has really quickened the news cycle,” says Ryan Williams, who worked for Romney in 2008 and is a spokesman for the current campaign. “You have to respond faster, and if you don’t respond faster, you’re going to lose. The Rosen thing broke at 9 o’clock at night on a Wednesday. This is a time when in previous cycles, you couldn’t move a story. It was after the evening news, after most of the papers had gone to print or were about to go to print, and you couldn’t get anything out there. Now with Twitter and everything, it’s completely different.”

The Romney campaign is approaching the coming weeks with a strategy of “bracketing” — doing events before and after key Obama campaign stops, making Obama’s message for that event implausible, refuted, and silly by the time he delivers his remarks. Before an Obama stop, Romney will do interviews with local radio stations. Last week Romney went to Charlotte, N.C., to give a “pre-buttal” to Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in September. Romney was supposed to speak on a rooftop with a view of the convention site, the Bank of America football stadium; bad weather forced his team indoors, and Romney spoke with a the city skyline behind him.