GOP Responds to Barack Obama 2012 Campaign Launch [Video]

If the Republicans’ response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign launch Monday is any indication, social media will play a major role in the 2012 election.

Shortly after President Barack Obama told supporters he was officially kicking off his 2012 re-election campaign, several possible Republican presidential hopefuls used the announcement to double-down on their criticism of the president.

All-but-declared presidential contender, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, tweeted Monday morning: “@barackobama I look forward to hearing details on your jobs plan, as are 14m unemployed Americans.”

Romney’s short comment highlights a point about the shaky economic recovery that Democrats acknowledge could be a vulnerability for Obama as he seeks a second term.

In what is becoming his favorite method of communication, Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and another potential GOP candidate for the 2012 presidential race, released his cinematic video on YouTube (see above.)

The video, which has the urgent music of an action film, features Pawlenty responding to an Obama sound bite, by asking, “How can America win the future when we’re losing the present?” Pawlenty concludes, “In order for America to take a new direction, it’s going to take a new president.”

It begins with a “Matrix”-style slow-motion shot of people walking down the street, transitions to a picture of lightning striking over the White House, shows Obama uttering, “Time to win the future,” then turns to displays of the country’s tough economic situation: for-sale signs in front of homes, the national debt clock, gas prices, closed businesses.

Since its release on Monday, the youtube video has gotten about 55,000 views, compared with 174,000 for Obama’s. Pawlenty also released the video on his Facebook Page, which has 81,000 fans. Obama has close to 19 million Facebook fans.

The Iowa Democratic Party volleyed back at Pawlenty, calling the video “gloomy and pessimistic” and saying that the former governor had a “record of debt and failure in Minnesota.” “‘Nighttime in America’ is a lousy idea for a bumper sticker and an even worse idea of leadership,” said Iowa Democratic Party executive director Norm Sterzenbach.

Another possible presidential candidate, Herman Cain, accused Obama of ushering in “skyrocketed unemployment, a takeover of the health care industry, more bailouts, reckless spending, failed stimulus packages and a radical agenda opposed by most Americans.”

Cain, a Georgia businessman who has launched a presidential exploratory committee, added, “There are plenty of Americans who will speak loudly and clearly at the ballot box in November 2012: he will be a one-term president.” [via Mashable, Arkansas GOP, The Huff Post and ABC News]

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