What Mitt Romney Didn’t Say
Poor Mitt Romney. On his night, the night when he was to officially accept his party’s nomination for the presidency, Clint Eastwood happened. You can never control every single thing that happens during the course of a campaign, so sometimes distractions are unavoidable and par for the course. Want to know what you can control, though? Things that happen at your own convention. It’s stunning that the Romney campaign allowed that self-inflicted gunshot wound of a performance to take place at their convention, on Mitt Romney’s night. This convention was supposed to be an opportunity to reintroduce Mitt Romney to the American people. It was also a chance to soak in positive headlines for a few days. Gifting the media with distracting sideshows like Clint Eastwood is antithetical to what a convention is supposed to be about. We’re not talking about how awesome Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan are. Instead, we’re talking about how unhinged that old guy seemed.
Let’s assume, for a second, that the Clint Eastwood disaster never happened (it totally did). Instead of holding our sides with laughter, we’d instead be talking about Mitt Romney’s speech. Let me just get it out of the way now: he wasn’t Paul Ryan and he’s definitely not Barack Obama. Fortunately for Gov. Romney, I don’t actually believe anyone expected him to be. His goal was to become human, draw contrasts between himself and the president and, most importantly, offer his vision for America and his plan for moving the country forward.
On the humanization front, he did that a lot during the speech. We heard a lot about his family, his parents, and even about his faith. His attempt to make himself sound like an everyday guy and connect with regular people often seemed a bit strenuous to me, but it’s a glaring deficiency for him as a candidate so I get why he he was so deliberate.
One thing was clear in this speech: Mitt Romney wants voters to have a deep sense of buyer’s remorse for electing Barack Obama.
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.
This idea was at the center of Mitt Romney’s pitch to American voters. He even went as far as pretending he wanted Obama to succeed!
I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.
Sure you did, governor.
The main problem with Romney’s speech is what he didn’t say. There was no there, there. The only bit of detail he provided was his 5-point plan to create 12 million jobs by 2016 (ThinkProgress noted in their live blog that economists believe Obama’s policies already put us on a path for 12 million over the next 4 years):
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, 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.
And fifth, 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.
That’s it. A brief outline on how he plans on doing something that’s probably going to happen anyway. He offers absolutely no detail on how he plans to accomplish any one of those 5 points, though. His plan for energy dependence is essentially the same as Obama’s. Some detail might have demonstrated how his approach differs from that of the current president, but he provided none.
He wants to give each citizen “the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow.” Again, this is no different than the president’s policy. What specifically would you do to achieve that goal, Mitt? Now’s the time to tell us! No detail? Okay.
He wants to “make trade work” by forging new trade agreements? What does that even mean? Obama signed 3 major trade agreements last year with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, respectively. And what types of consequences is he talking about? *crickets*
He, again, claims he has a plan to balance the budget, but provides not a shred of detail on how he plans to achieve that. I guess we’re supposed to take his word for it.
And then there’s the whole thing about repealing and replacing Obamacare. I mean sure, it’s complete fantasy that a president can repeal anything himself, and there’s probably less than a snowball’s chance in hell Congress repeals it. Never mind that! He says he will do it as president. But then there’s the logically following question: repeal Obamacare and replace it with what, exactly? Repealing the law means getting rid of a lot of the changes people like and benefit from. Which of those benefits stay? Which go? What will your health care plan look like? How will it reign in the skyrocketing costs you mention? Won’t say, huh? Aight.
And then there’s his complete omission of Afghanistan, a country we STILL have troops in. We’ve been there for over a decade, have sacrificed breathtaking amounts of blood and treasure, not to mention the sad amount of Afghan civilians killed. Even Bill Kristol expressed confusion about Romney utterly ignoring Afghanistan:
The United States has some 68,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan. Over two thousand Americans have died in the more than ten years of that war, a war Mitt Romney has supported. Yet in his speech accepting his party’s nomination to be commander in chief, Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there, or to those who have fought there. Nor for that matter were there thanks for those who fought in Iraq, another conflict that went unmentioned.
He also never mentioned Social Security, how he plans on handling skyrocketing education costs, Iraq, Syria, etc. etc. You know what he did mention, though? Russia!
Gov. Romney’s speech left a lot to be desired. It’s very ironic that the right continually accuses the president of being high on rhetoric and low on substance. That’s actually the only real way to characterize their standard bearer Mitt Romney’s speech last night.
We get it, Mitt. You are not Barack Obama. We’re simply waiting to hear what Mitt Romney would do as president.