Mitt Romney is going to lose this election. There, I’ve made a bold prediction, but one that I’ve held since the Republican primary process started weeding out the fanatics, and went with the safe, boring candidate. Not that picking “safe” means that you’re going to win. It just means that you’re not setting yourself up to lose.
But Romney has managed to completely bungle this campaign. By all accounts he should be winning in the polls, and should be a shoe-in for president. The president [and the country] continues to be let down with disastrous unemployment numbers, and an economy that just won’t seem to pick up. But Romney has failed to make two arguments that I believe are very important to people when they enter that voting both; 1) why do you want to be president?, and 2) what specific policies will you implement that will make the economy better than the current president.
The first question should be easy, but instead of connecting to voters and letting them know that he cares deeply about this country and that he’s worried about the economy and the people, he just comes off as an out-of-touch rich guy that wants to be president so that he can hang it around his neck like a badge of honor. He wants people to like and respect him, but he doesn’t seem that likeable and it’s hard to respect someone who seems to care nothing about anyone but himself. I honestly don’t think Romney, the man, is a bad guy (I don’t know him personally, so I can’t say), but his campaign has done a terrible job of humanizing him, and therefore nobody feels like they know him, or want to get a beer with him (George Bush II had that going for him). Not that I need my president to be my best buddy, but I think it’s important that he at least attempts to make a connection to the majority of the people.
Which actually brings me to the point of this piece – I’ll come back to question #2 later. A video was leaked this week of Mitt Romney speaking to some high value donors back in May, in which he makes the outrageous claim that “There are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,”. First of all, this claim is untrue. It has been debunked by several fact checking organizations, and has ironically shown that many of those that Romney considers free loaders are actually (if they’re working) paying a higher percentage of income tax than Mitt Romney. Add to that the fact that Romney is essentially saying that all poor and lower middle class Americans are Obama supporters, so he’s just going to write them off. And if he’s campaigning with that message to wealthy donors, what do you think he’d do during his presidency…?
But let’s take the statement at face value; let’s say that it is a true statement. I still don’t understand what is so abhorrent about people living in the wealthiest nation in the world expecting to be provided with health care, food, or housing. I mean, it’s not like people are expecting multiple houses and car elevators; they expect that those lavish items are reserved for the super-rich in this country. Those are basic necessities, which we should be providing to everyone anyway, regardless of whether they’re productive, unproductive, working, not working, active, lazy…it doesn’t matter. Asking for health care, food, and shelter, is essentially asking to continue to live, that’s all. I guess the so-called compassionate conservatives don’t have compassion when it comes to poor people; or maybe it’s just rich, out-of-touch, liberal/conservative, flip-flopping Republicans that don’t have compassion or empathy for poor people.
The second important question that Romney has failed to answer is what specific policies he will implement to turn around the economy. He says that he will end "Obamacare", but that really doesn't account for much. Most of his other fiscal policies resemble those of the Bush administration; tax cuts, deregulation, etc., along with cutting in "entitlement" spending and closing loopholes. But his cuts in entitlement spending and closing loopholes have been completely nonspecific, and therefore have lead to a lot of speculation as to where and what will be cut. The romney campaign has decried all of these speculations as way off the mark, but has yet to disclose comprehensive policy ideas that would actually have a change of cutting the deficit and debt, or spur economic growth in any way. Basically we're looking at a candidate who just thinks he can be elected as the anti-Obama. Former president Bill Clinton said it best in his speech at the 2012 Democratic Convention, referring to the Republicans and the Romney campaign; "We left him a total mess. he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in." Helluva campaign slogan for Romeny.