The case for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is straightforward: The president hasn’t done the job. I can. Fire him and hire me.
The Romney campaign and his surrogates have tried to make a blanket condemnation of President Obama’s handling of the presidency, from the economy to national security.
But except for the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Romney’s critique of US foreign policy weakness hasn’t stuck with a war-weary public.
The former Massachusetts governor has made a much stronger stand on the economy, however. His attack on the Obama administration’s record has been forceful and effective, especially over the past month. Here’s what he said in the final debate in Boca Raton:
The policies of the last four years have seen incomes in America decline every year for middle income families, now down $4,300 during your term. Twenty-three million Americans still struggling to find a good job.
When you came to office 32 million people on food stamps. Today, 47 million people on food stamps.
When you came to office, just over $10 trillion in debt, now $16 trillion in debt. It hasn’t worked.
The core of Romney’s criticism is that businesses aren’t hiring because of crippling regulations and fears of higher taxes and the impending effects of health care reform. Remove that uncertainty and bring in a practical, pro-business president and the economy will boom, he’s arguing.
That’s the essence of his plan to create 12 million new jobs over the next four years.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- Cut the corporate income tax rate to 25% from 35% and cut personal income tax rates by 20% across the board.
- Boost domestic energy production by immediately approving the Keystone pipeline and opening up public land to drilling.
- Repeal Obamacare and roll back many of the regulations, including those in the Dodd-Frank Act, that were added during the Obama administration.
- Declare China a currency manipulator and get tough with China on trade while pushing for more trade agreements with other countries
- Cap federal spending at 20% of GDP by 2016 (it’s now 24%) and cut discretionary domestic spending by 5% a year while keeping defense spending at least 4% of GDP, effectively an increase.
Romney is a thorough, meticulous executive; has ample experience with troubled companies in the private sector; turned around the failing Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and dealt with an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature to get things done in Massachusetts. He could work across the aisle with Democrats in Congress the way the president hasn’t with Republicans.
Voters who think the president’s approach hasn’t worked, that the economy is worse than when he was elected, and that Romney actually will be the kind of bipartisan, moderately conservative pragmatist he’s tried to portray himself as in the past few weeks may find that message appealing and will cast their votes for Mitt Romney next Tuesday.
Also Read: The Case for Obama