Anticipating a nasty fight in 2012, President Obama's re-election campaign on Tuesday launched a site, called AttackWatch.com , designed to push back against attacks on the president's record.
"We all remember the birth certificate smear, the GOP's barrage of lies about the Affordable Care Act, and the string of other phony attacks on President Obama that we've seen over the past few years," Jim Messina, Obama for America's campaign manager, wrote in an email to the president's supporters. "There are a lot of folks on the other side who are chomping at the bit to distort the President's record. It's not a question of if the next big lie will come, just when -- and what we're prepared to do about it."
Currently, the site prominently features "lies" and "flawed" attacks regarding the president's record on jobs from the two Republicans leading the GOP presidential field -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It also counters claims regarding Mr. Obama's policies on gun rights, relations with Israel, the bank bailouts and other flashpoints that are popular talking points among conservatives.
The Obama campaign is aiming to utilize social media like Facebook and Twitter to keep "AttackWatch" voter-driven. In his email, Messina encourages supporters to sign up on the site to be "on the front lines" and help "spread the truth."
Yet so far, the site seems to have been most effective at giving conservatives more ammunition against the president. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin is referring the initiative as the "snitch police squad", while the conservative site Human Events is calling it the "little brother initiative." The Drudge Report, the news aggregating site popular among conservatives, features a link to AttackWatch.com under the headline, "See something, say something," in reference to the Department of Homeland Security's public awareness campaign.
The Obama campaign has adopted the hash tag #attackwatch to organize its efforts on Twitter, but on Wednesday, the hash tag was largely being used by conservatives complaining about the new site. "Dear #AttackWatch I have no specific complaints at the moment, @BarackObama just sux, generally speaking," tweeted conservative blogger Dan Riehl. Twitter user John Hayward tweets, "Dear #AttackWatch: I just saw several people refuse to eat their peas. Do you have a SWAT team?"