At the conclusion of a lackluster Republican Convention, Mitt Romney made his passionate plea to the country about why he is the right choice for the country. I think for the first time during the campaign season, America knows who the real Mitt Romney is.
He was very effective in laying out the differences between what President Obama wants for the country and what he wants. However, he was strong on the rhetoric and weak on the specifics and provided at least two key reasons why this speech does not change my vote:
A core issue in our recession is the collapsed housing market. As I have previously written, the current administration has not been successful in dealing with the foreclosure crisis. This presents Romney with a clear opportunity to show how he would provide a better solution to the crisis; instead, Romney gave no place for housing in his speech.
If he is the right choice to lead this country back from the brink, he needs to have a plan to deal with the foreclosure crisis. If you visit the issues page on his website, there is not even an option to discuss housing. Housing isn’t just about the foreclosure crisis. We have a shortage of affordable rental housing in this country and with more families losing their homes to foreclosure, this becomes a greater problem. Without Romney articulating a plan to cover this two-fold housing crisis, he fails to give me a reason to change my vote.
2) Health Care Reform
While I have always been a supporter of health care reform and support the Affordable Care Act, even in its watered down state, my personal experiences over the past year have given me a new perspective. On May 14, 2012, my son died at exactly six months of age. Complications from a heart defect he was born with led to his death, but during his short life, he accrued over $2.5 million in medical expenses. Had it not been for good health coverage through my job, this would have bankrupted my family. It made me appreciate our coverage that much more, but it also made me think about the millions of families without that luxury.
That is an issue for me. Access to quality, affordable healthcare is a right and not a privilege. Romney spoke about wanting to repeal and replace Obamacare, but has failed to effectively convince me that he has a plan that is a better option. His website lists out his alternatives, but it doesn’t articulate how his changes will address the over 50 million Americans without coverage. This failure is another reason why my vote will not change.
While the speech was good in my opinion, it had similar aspects to speeches by Obama that Republicans have been critical of in the past. The GOP is quick to point out when Obama is strong on rhetoric and weak on the specifics. This speech was no different. Romney was strong on rhetoric and excellent in sharing his views and history, but his address lacked any specific details. He provided his 5-point jobs plan in bullets, left out housing, briefly mentioned education, and said he will create 12 million jobs without mentioning where or how we will get them. I went into specifics on two key issues, but there are many more than two reasons why this speech will not change my vote.
Over the next 60 days, if Romney is to change the minds of more voters across the country, he will need to get more specific on his plans to save America. If his party thinks that Obama is weak on the specifics, Romney will need to make that his strong point, and with the most important speech in his life, he failed to do that.