Politics panel: Obama camp "mystified" at Romney's campaign strategy

(CBS News) On CBS News' "Face the Nation," a panel of political reporters discussed the presidential campaign up until this point - just a few weeks before the political conventions.

CBS News' Nancy Cordes said the Obama campaign is "mystified" that Mitt Romney has not done more to define himself, allowing the Obama campaign to fill in the gaps.

"At Obama headquarters, when I was talking to them this week, they were mystified by why this Romney approach that they're taking now to sort of roll out his bio, talk about him. You see ads now where he's driving a car and talk about running the Olympics. They really don't understand why he didn't do that a couple months ago. And it really gave them the opportunity to define him on their terms about Bain, about outsourcing, at a time when he was really vulnerable. It's almost as if he thought that he could run solely harping away at the president, not defining himself in positive terms," Cordes said.

Jan Crawford, CBS News correspondent, said the Romney campaign is going to start defining their candidate.

"They're going to roll out starting with the convention a lot more positive ads about Romney - his background, his biography, and they have the convention where they think things are really going to kick off," she said.

She also said the president has outspent Romney in this early part of the campaign. "He's been outspent hugely in these battleground states because he doesn't have the kind of money right now that the Obama campaign has. He's been outspent five to one, eight to one in some of the battleground states," she said.

Michael Crowley with Time Magazine, who recently wrote an article about campaign spending this election cycle, said the outside groups are playing a major role this campaign season.

"The key thing for people to understand, for a variety of reasons, Republicans are going to have a substantial spending advantage on the outside money, much of which won't be disclosed. It's not very clearly documented. When it is disclosed, a lot of it really won't come out until the very last days of the election. And although the Obama campaign, the official campaign will probably raise and spend more than the official Romney campaign, when you count in all the outside groups on both sides, Republicans will probably have more money to spend. And a lot of that has to do with Karl Rove," he said, referring to President George W. Bush's strategist.

Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg agrees, pointing to a story in Sunday's New York Times. "The money race is huge - $400 million spent since the beginning of last year through June," she said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.