After news broke early this morning that President Obama had told supporters he would file papers for reelection, a few of his potential opponents were quick to respond in both traditional ways and by utilizing social media that show just how fast the nascent campaign is likely to be.
By mid-morning, both former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty had responded in ways that were not possible just two election cycles ago. Romney tweeted, “@BarackObama I look forward to hearing details on your jobs plan, as do 14m unemployed Americans.” Then Pawlenty’s exploratory committee alerted the press to a high production value YouTube web video in which Pawlenty says, “I’ve got a question - how can America win the future when we’re losing the present?”
By afternoon, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senator Rick Santorum were on the record about Obama’s intentions, but in more traditional ways. Gingrich had the toughest words for Obama, calling him “a one-term president,” and he told the press in Manchester, New Hampshire that Obama is “trying to create a Chicago style machine for the whole country with a billion dollars. It’s not about us, it’s about money. It’s about the president’s ability to coerce and run over the American people by building a machine so big nobody can challenge him.” Gingrich added, “I don’t believe he can raise enough money to hide from the American people.”
Santorum issued an email statement through his political action committee, in which he said, “We can’t take four more years of the ‘change’ the Obama Administration has forced upon America. The only thing that has changed is the amount of our debt, the size of our government, the loss of our freedom, the fewer jobs for those wanting work, the diminished stature of America, and an expensive military commitment without a clear national security purpose.”
CNN’s Steve Brusk contributed to this report.