By Jake Tapper, Richard Coolidge & Sherisse Pham
While Republican candidates battled it out in their primaries and caucuses, the Republican National Committee (RNC) was preparing for the general election battle against President Obama. Political Punch got an exclusive look inside the committee's anti-Obama attack machine, and the space they call "the war room."
"We said from the very beginning ... we were going to get this building in fighting shape for the Republican nominee, and part of that - in today's news cycle, 24/7 - is to be on things instantly," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. That means having transcripts of all President Obama's speeches at the ready, and responding immediately any time there is a gaffe by a the president, vice president, or a Democratic operative.
Attack plans are hatched daily in a morning meeting, where a team headed by RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer constantly maps and monitors every move of the president and his surrogates. In the "war room," a group of young workers are practically glued to their computer screens, waiting to catch the next Hilary Rosen moment.
"We - 24/7 - monitor print news, online news, TV, radio, Twitter, Facebook," said Spicer. We try to capture everything that's going on in real time so that we know what's happening ... and we're able to respond within seconds."
"Definitely, I can say at one time or another, everyone in this room has caught something," said Mike Danylak, Director of the War Room (and yes, that is his official title).