When you watch Mitt Romney’s speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention – it was filled with soft edges and poll tested platitudes but there was very, very little meat in that burger. Where’s the beef I wonder.
Here is a summary of his speech. You’re disappointed that the economy isn’t doing well and it’s President Obama’s fault; hire me. That’s the summary.
And ask yourself – what part of this plan is different than that of George W. Bush? Seriously.
In polling – Romney is losing to Obama by double digits with the female vote and that spells big concerns for the Romney campaign since women are more likely to vote in the first place. So – the plan of attack is to turn Mr. Roboto into Mr. Softie to showcase Romney’s tender side. That’s why the convention highlighted more diversity on the stage than did its audience or party membership; that’s why there were so many references to females in both Romney’s life but also within the Republican party. He REALLY needs to make inroads with women and knows the only way to win their vote is to make them feel insecure about an Obama 2nd term in terms of the future of the economy. That’s the game plan.
That’s why Romney used the word “love” 7 times in his speech but the word taxes only 3 times. Romney used the word “Medicare” exactly once when he once again repeated the debunked lie that Obama took out $716 billion from Medicare which harmed the solvency of the program. He used the word “Obama” on 15 different occasions. Romney used the word “disappointed” or some variation 4 times. The way the Romney campaign is talking about women being disappointed with President Obama …. it reminds me of a college guy going to a girl’s dorm room to let her express her dissatisfaction about her boyfriend with the hopes that he can sleep with her. There, there – I know he hurt you but I promise I never will …. you can put your head on my shoulder if you want. Now let’s just help you get comfortable by taking off that shirt. That’s Mitt Romney.
And in keeping with Romney’s love of platitudes – he used the word “America” 93 separate times. I mean Jesus. We get it. Back in the 2008 election – Mark Penn – Hillary Clinton’s senior pollster and political adviser – recommended constantly talking about America and her having been born in America and her relationship with America so that she could “own” the America issue. His point was that it would help to highlight then Senator Obama as “foreign” and “the other” and “unpatriotic” or maybe just uppity. She declined; Romney was all about it however. This guy loves the mud.
But you know – I don’t recall him talking much about his awful record as Governor of Massachusetts. I guess being 47th in jobs with a 37% approval rating upon exiting isn’t much to write home about.
As part of the Romney campaign’s attempt to highlight Romney’s softer side … as I shared HERE – the NY Times explained the behind the scenes work that went into this huge convention:
They hail from the Broadway stage, the control rooms of NBC and the design studios that created sleek sets for Oprah Winfrey and Jon Stewart. Their craft is slick packaging and eye candy that audiences consume by the millions. Their latest project? Selling the Mitt Romney story in prime time.
The campaign aides are determined to overcome perceptions that Mr. Romney is stiff, aloof and distant. So they have built one of the most intricate set pieces ever designed for a convention — a $2.5 million Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired theatrical stage.
Now I’ve already laid into Romney’s various policies many times before. His speech really didn’t get into any specifics for the most part but here are some things he committed to:
#1 – By 2020, North America will be energy independent.
And he’s going to do that by repealing the energy standards that President Obama put in place and simply “drill, baby, drill”. That’s his solution. I’ve actually compared President Obama and Romney’s plans HERE.
#2 – “We will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow.” and he seemed to support voucher plans for schools or as Republicans like to call it “school choice”.
First – Romney’s budget cuts would completely eliminate or severely cut any job training assistance. Republicans would not fund job training programs when President Obama pushed for them in order to sign Free Trade agreements with Colombia and North Korea. Republicans resisted until they finally found a compromise on the issue. That’s all just window dressing from Romney or to put it another way – it’s a lie. He will leave workers behind like a shuttered steel factory that Bain Capital foreclosed on in a heartbeat.
When Republicans talk about “school choice” – they say it as if somehow the poor kids in school are going to have the “choice” to go to the nice affluent school on the other side of town. Except – all that happens is those schools are fully booked. Sorry about that – you’re poor and well … we just don’t have any spots left. And really all that happens is these vouchers are used for parents to send their kids to religious based schools who teach kids that humans and dinosaurs lived side by side 6,000 years ago. And secondly – it hurts unions so it’s a twofer. School choice has not proven to have any improvement in school testing whatsoever. They use the term “school choice” instead of school voucher program because that doesn’t poll well.
#3 – “We will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.”
What countries? Is the goal to simply sign free trade agreements or is there a point? Free trade is great when it’s really free trade. He then went on to say “And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.” How? Easier said than done. You know who else said that? Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Good luck putting that genie back in the bottle. Remember – this guy has backbone … even though he has flip-flopped on every possible position that he has had in the last year other than raising taxes on the rich.
#4 – “To assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.”
Well by “job creator” he means wealthy people. And America is not in anyway, shape or form in a position of being like Greece no matter what the flat earth society says. Ezra Klein explains how Romney cuts taxes for the rich and literally robs the poor of social services HERE:
Let’s try to make this as simple as possible. Money comes into the federal government through taxes and bonds. The vast majority of it is then spent on old-people programs, poor-people programs, and defense.
Mitt Romney is promising that taxes will go down, defense spending will go up, and old-people programs won’t change for this generation of retirees. So three of his four options for deficit reduction — taxes, old-people programs, and defense — are now either contributing to the deficit or are off-limits for the next decade.
Romney is also promising that he will pay for his tax cuts, pay for his defense spending, and reduce total federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years. But the only big pot of money left to him is poor-people programs. So, by simple process of elimination, poor-people programs will have to be cut dramatically. There’s no other way to make those numbers work.
Romney has promised $5 trillion in tax cuts. He has promised to expand the military budget because after all America needs to be the world leader or we’re not an exceptional country according to Romney. And he’s also promised that we’re going to preserve and protect Medicare for seniors and future generations. And everyone gets a pony. Here kid – you want a candy cane?
And Romney says he is going to do all of that without increasing the deficit or without raising taxes on the middle class. Sure. That’s why people who can add say his math is literally IMPOSSIBLE (source). That means – even an MIT mathematician couldn’t make Romney’s budget #’s work. So either he’s going to blow up the budget or he’s going to cut Medicare and Defense big time or he’s going to raise taxes.
That’s why respected magazines like the Economist have written that “Romney is willing to do or say anything to get elected” (source).
#5 – “We will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.”
Well – just like every other Republican talking … when he says he’s going to protect small businesses what he really means is that he’s going to protect big businesses. He has provided no plans to explain how he is going to do that but he has made it painfully clear that he doesn’t believe in “class warfare” by providing special incentives to one group that you don’t provide to others. So – the big corporations are going to make out like bandits. Believe it. All under the bait and switch formula of protecting small business.
As for skyrocketing costs of healthcare … every independent fact checker who has reviewed the elements of Obamacare have made it clear that in fact it does reduce costs in the system. And in addition to that – Obamacare is a literal copy of the healthcare law that Romney implemented in Massachusetts and vowed to implement one day as President. So he’s for it when he’s the guy signing the legislation and he’s against it when it is his opponent. Repealing Obamacare would only weaken Medicare and would hurt small businesses who are about to benefit big time from tax credits for health insurance that are OPTIONAL.
#6 – Romney talked about his time at Bain Capital as a job creator. But we all know different.
Read any of those stories and you’ll understand the kind of impact Romney has had on people’s lives. Buy profitable companies with a small down payment, load them up with debt and then put them into bankruptcy after they milked them by charging millions in management fees etc. Meanwhile the workers lose pensions or have lower pay and benefits while Bain capital partners walk away with tens of millions or even hundreds of millions in profits. That’s the Bain Capital formula.
When Romney was at Bain – as Bloomberg News writes “Romney privatized the gains and socialized the losses.” And we know that Bain Capital used various tax avoidance schemes by setting up corporations in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands; that’s how they were so successful. Or like the time when Romney was on the board at Marriott and oversaw the largest tax avoidance scheme in history (source). You know – the job creators.
#6 – “Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat. In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We’re still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning. President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro’s Cuba.”
What you need to know about Romney and foreign policy is that he has even less experience than George W. Bush did. All of his major foreign policy advisers are from the Bush administration and he constantly talks about the need to support Israel in attacking Iran or we’re just not good allies if we don’t. A Romney administration would put us in war with Iran under the guise of preventing them from getting access to WMD’s although they’ll just refer to it as nuclear weapons … and he hasn’t said who would pay for that war just yet.
You can read the full text of Mitt Romney’s RNC speech HERE.
Ezra Klein points out:
Notably, Romney said almost nothing about his tax, budget, or Medicare plans.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) August 31, 2012
Like us on Facebook?