Mitt Romney needs to hone his attack in the presidential race, says U.S. Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC).
The first-term congressman is "hopeful" the current low-key Romney campaign is preparing for a more forceful approach in the fall.
"I'm hoping he is figuring out right now what exactly is coming at him and getting a very tight, crisp response," Scott said Thursday night to a crowd of more than 100 conservative 9/12 members from across the Lowcountry.
He told the group that he spoke with Romney advisers on Friday, offering suggestions on strategy.
"I'm hoping that his campaign is well-oiled enough to get that response together now," Scott said. "And then, when you begin firing, you fire relentlessly until election day."
One of two freshmen members in the House leadership team, Scott's profile has been on the rise among national GOP leaders. He hosted town hall events with most of the GOP presidential primary candidates, as well as an event earlier in January with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a possible vice presidential contender.
Romney is facing criticism from some conservatives for a "safe" approach to the campaign trail, according to The Christian Science Monitor. While a Wall Street Journal editorial Thursday suggested the campaign is "slowly squandering an historic opportunity."
Scott was also critical of the Romney campaign's response to the Supreme Court decision on healthcare reform. The campaign spent days arguing, alongside the president, that the individual mandate was a penalty. That was even after GOP House members had embraced the court's decision that it was a tax — an argument they feel will work better at the polls in November and could also expedite repeal in 2013.
"What we need from Romney is consistency in messaging. You can't call it a tax and a penalty," Scott said. "You can't have a mixed message coming out of a presidential campaign."
But Scott still said he expects Romney to win the White House in November.
"I think he'll get it together, because we need him to get it together," Scott said.