Senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod today put a new spin on Democrats' "out-of-touch" attack on Mitt Romney, saying the GOP frontrunner acts as if he belongs in the 1960s.
"I think he must watch 'Mad Men' and think it's the evening news. He's just in a time warp," Axelrod told CBS' "This Morning" program.
"Romney seems to look at the world through a rear-view mirror. He wants to go back to the policies of the last decade on economics. On other stuff, he thinks Russia is our greatest foe, he thinks employers ought to be able to decide whether women can get contraceptive coverage…He thinks if we just drill for more oil, that will solve our energy problems, no higher fuel efficiency standards, no renewables," he said.
The swipe drew a swift retort from Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom who on Twitter played along with the "time warp" motif to suggest Romney favored a more prosperous economic time: "You mean, when unemployment was lower, and the economy was expanding?" he asked of Axelrod.
"No, when Russia was our greatest foe, bosses could dictate on women's health & Etch-a-Sketch was a toy, not a political strategy," Axelrod replied on Twitter.
Fehrnstrom fired back: "Actually, the toy that comes to mind on Obama and the economy is the Rubik's cube. He's got it all twisted around."
The spat comes amid an escalating effort by Democrats to paint Romney's policy positions as insensitive and outdated and as the likely Republican nominee begins to reposition himself for the general election campaign.
The "Mad Men" inspired tweak also follows a swipe at the Romney clan during an episode of the hit AMC show that aired Sunday night.
A character in the series, which is set in the 1960s, called then Michigan Gov. George Romney - Mitt's father - a "clown."
"The challenges facing America today are too serious for President Obama and his team to be laughing about TV shows," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told ABC News.
"People are fed up with the failures of this administration: high unemployment, $5/gallon gas and declining incomes. If the White House spent more time worrying about the economy and less time worrying about Mitt Romney, maybe the country would be in better shape," she said.
Axelrod signaled in his interview with CBS that the Obama campaign would not back down from their "out-of-touch" critique of the Republican candidate.
"I think it's going to be the concern of the American people," Axelrod said. "In his basic orientation toward these economic issues, he seems to be oblivious to the experiences of everyday people."
This post has been updated.