The million dollar question I hear from friends and relatives is this: with Obama’s failures on full display and the unprecedented lethargic economic growth for everyone t see, why is Obama leading?
The answer is simple. We don’t have retention ballots for presidential elections. You have to beat the incumbent with an alternative, and in this case, Obama is running unopposed.
Many people on our side are in complete denial of the situation. They are still stuck on the 1980 narrative and feel that Romney will pull out a Reagan style victory. He still can. But he will lose if he doesn’t begin showing up in the ring.
Ronald Reagan did two things to win. He relentlessly beat the stuffing out of Jimmy Carter on specific policies, and he proposed a very specific positive agenda. Those two magical components are missing from Romney’s campaign.
With regards to the aggressive attacks on Obama, take a look at this trenchant piece from Byron York:
DAYTON, Ohio – For a brief moment, as he spoke to voters Tuesday during his only Ohio appearance with running mate Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney seemed to find a new aggressiveness in attacking Barack Obama. Addressing a crowd gathered in chilly, rainy weather outside the Wright Brothers Aviation hangar at Dayton Airport, Romney said the president has “a vision of government that is entirely foreign to anything this nation has ever known.” Obama’s vision is an America with “a larger and larger government, taking more and more from the people, intruding itself into your relationship with your doctor, investing in companies, picking winners and losers…”
“That is not the America I know,” Romney continued. “That is not the America that built Ohio. That is not the America that we’re going to restore.” […]
If that new version of the Romney candidacy thrilled some Republicans who want Romney to take the fight to Obama — well, the thrill was short lived. A little more than 24 hours later, appearing solo in Toledo, Romney was back to his old view of the president. Listing rising prices of food, health care, gas, and other necessities, Romney said, “The American family, middle income families, are having a hard time. Look, I know the president cares about America and the people in this country. He just doesn’t know how to help them. I do. I’ll get this country going again.” Whatever edge Romney showed the day before in Dayton was gone.
Obama cares about America; he just doesn’t know how to help? What?!!! He is the arsonist with regards to skyrocketing food, gas, and healthcare prices. He’s not the feckless firefighter. These are the bread and butter issues that provide Romney with the opportunity to show how Obama’s most potent policies, which stem from a deliberate socialist ideology, have saddles the middle class with a regressive increase in the cost of living. He should hit him on his support from monetary stimulus, ethanol, sundry EPA activities, stifling energy production – all policies that have increased the cost of food and fuel. And healthcare costs? Can anyone say Obamacare?
If nobody steps into the ring to hang Obama’s policies around his neck, who will?
The other component that is absent from the Romney campaign is a specific positive agenda. As conservatives, we pride ourselves on offering substance. That is something that has always distinguished us from the left. In particular, every Republican president has run on a specific tax plan. Even Bob Dole had a plan. Bush’s tax cuts served as the central driver of his successful campaigns (he also relentlessly beat up John Kerry). As Bob Novak once said, “God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. If they don’t do that, they have no useful function.”
Not only was Romney’s convention speech more devoid of substance than any other acceptance speech before it, he made no mention of his tax cut plan. Now he is jettisoning it altogether. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Romney is now backpeddling on his promise to cut taxes in every income bracket by 20%.
Moreover, while he is tempering his own tax cut plan, Romney publically asserted that Obama has made good on his promise not to raise taxes during his first 4 years. Huh?!! Perhaps he should read this article we posted a few months ago.
Many of the optimists on our side are putting false hope into the debates and Romney’s supposed cash advantage. But what exactly will he say during the debates that will move the needle? And what good is his cash advantage if he will spend it on ads that continue projecting the same failed message.
Romney can definitely win this. But the turnaround will not materialize without an aggressive ideological message that boldly contrasts Obama failed policies, while concurrently connecting those policies to the failed economy.
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