The last person the Obama campaign and Democrats across America wanted to be running against in 2012 was Mitt Romney. They were dying for a social conservative lightening rod like Rick Santorum, who was full of polarizing statements like, “children whose fathers were locked in prison would be better off than children raised by a lesbian couple.” Or even a Newt Gingrich, who comes with a long history of baggage including extramarital affairs and other political scandals.
Growing up, I was always told America is a center-right country. If that’s still the case, it doesn’t get more center-right than Mitt Romney.
For starters, Romney has a picture-perfect family, so that removed any Gingrich-esque opportunities for the Democrats to exploit. Romney also isn't a far right social conservative lightening rod either, despite the left’s desperate attempts to paint him as one. Quite the opposite, he was elected as a Republican in an ultra liberal blue state like Massachusetts, where he cut spending by $1.6 billion, balanced a budget without raising taxes, and turned a $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus, giving his state a credit rating upgrade and lowering unemployment down to 4.7% - all while working with an 85% Democratic state legislature. There was simply no evidence to support an attack accusing Romney of being a partisan extremist, but that didn’t stop the left from trying.
Even worse for liberals, Romney cut his teeth in the private sector for 25 years, building a career by saving struggling businesses and making a name for himself as a turnaround specialist. It was Democrats’ worst nightmare, considering economic performance is where President Obama scores worst among voters. During Obama’s term as President, his administration has added more debt in less than 4 years than the previous administration added in 8 years, racking up record trillion dollar deficits and eclipsing our entire GDP, leading to a first ever credit rating downgrade. The labor force participation rate is at a record low while we had a record long stretch of unemployment over 8%. Inflation is rising and average household net worth has fallen by 40%.
In other words, the economy, job creation, and the debt/deficit are the last things the Democrats wanted to make this election about. A Pew Research Center study only confirmed their fears, showing that more than eight-in-ten voters ranked the economy (86%) and jobs (84%) as the most important issues in deciding who to vote for this fall, followed by the federal budget deficit at 74%. In fact, the three issues at the bottom of the list that voters ranked as least important were abortion (39%), birth control (34%), and gay marriage (28%).
That’s not a winning formula for Democrats. Their bread and butter is exploiting social issues by milking emotional stories and trying to distract Americans from all the economic failures around us. So if abortion and gay marriage weren’t going to matter this year, they were going to make them matter.
And they had every tool at their disposal with the mainstream media firmly on their side. The progressive elites of the New York news media, Washington insiders, and Hollywood celebrities were going to try just as hard to keep Obama in office in 2012 as they tried to get him elected in 2008. The hypocritical attacks were endless.
They accused Romney of being “out of touch” with mainstream America because he was a part of the 1%, while completely ignoring that fact that Obama is also a Harvard graduate worth million of dollars (never mind the fact that they didn’t give a damn that John Kerry’s net worth of $240 million was way more than George W. Bush’s of $26 million in 2004). As if the progressive elites of the New York news media, Washington insiders, and Hollywood celebrities have any idea what’s “in touch” with mainstream America.
They tried to do anything they could to spin Romney’s comments out of context like “not caring about poor people” while scrambling to defend Obama’s controversial comments such as, “You didn’t build that!”
They tried to accuse Romney of being a flip-flopper while classifying Obama’s about face on saying Obamacare wasn’t a tax, reversing his policy on immigration, and switching from being for gay marriage to against gay marriage to being for it again as “evolving.”
They even had the nerve to claim that Romney wasn’t being “honest with the American public” and criticizing his transparency on his personal tax returns when this administration has covered up everything from Obama’s personal record like his college transcripts and list of legal clients he had when he was practicing law to major political scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Benghazi attack where American citizens were killed.
When Nixon was caught pulling a campaign stunt 40 years ago, the liberal media went ballistic. But when this president was caught using “executive privilege” to stop the investigation into Fast and Furious dead in its tracks and lying about claiming the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islamic American film that got out of hand and had no prior warning of, the media watchdogs were nowhere to be found.
The Romney campaign kept its messaging solely focused on Obama’s record as president, his policies and his results. The Obama campaign launched personal character attacks against Romney, trying to convince America that Romney is a right-wing extremist (while simultaneously having no principles) who hates America, women, dogs, gays, and poor people, while also being a wimp, international embarrassment, a felon who doesn’t pay his taxes, and a murderer. The double standard was unbelievable.
Yet despite the brutal, disgusting, dishonest, petty non-stop efforts to paint this caricature of Romney to the American public, this fake persona was shattered after the first presidential debate, when Americans got to see who Romney truly is and what he stands for without the disingenuous context of the Obama campaign and liberal media. Once the polls started swinging for Romney afterwards, the left went into panic mode and only ramped up their efforts higher. The scrambled to come up with any excuse as to why Obama lost the debate, including blaming the altitude in Denver, John Kerry’s debate prep, Fox News, not being able to use teleprompters during the debate, and even going so far as to claim the media was actually pro-Romney.
Here’s the bottom line: Ironically, Obama summed it up best in 2008 when he said, “If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.” That’s precisely what his re-election campaign did in 2012, choosing to focus on birth control, “binders full of women” and Big Bird instead of bipartisan solutions, economic performance and job record.
Or worse, they simply lied and tried to convince America that the 2012 Republican ticket was Todd Akin-Richard Mourdock running on abortion, abortion, and abortion instead of Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan running on implementing solutions that have bipartisan support such as pro-growth tax reform, domestic energy development, and debt/deficit reduction.
Does Anthony Weiner represent every Democrat in America; do they all tweet naked pictures of themselves? Does Charlie Rangel or Rod Blagojevich represent every Democrat in America; are they all more corrupt than the Chicago Machine (where Obama got his start by the way)? Then why must Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock represent every Republican in America? Again, the double standard is just amazing.
But no amount of deceit, divisions and distractions can substitute for lack of solutions to problems that all Americans are suffering from. People struggling to find jobs and collecting unemployment checks could care less what some Senate candidate in Missouri thinks. Parents of soldiers who are serving abroad aren’t preoccupied with Romney’s tax returns.
What most Americans care about is leadership in this country. They want pay checks, not food stamps. They want someone who knows how a free market economy works, not someone who works for more government control over every aspect of our system from health care and finance to energy and education. They want someone with a proven track record of reaching across the aisle to solve problems, not a far left extremist (seriously, name one issue that Obama’s not liberal on) who puts unions, trial lawyers and the green energy lobby first over everyone else.
That’s why middle class and even poor voters alike are voting for Romney. That’s why Republican voter enthusiasm has trumped Democratic voter enthusiasm all year. That’s why Romney has been leading independents by double digits – the most since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Romney is a center right candidate for a center right nation focused on economic recovery, job creation and stopping the federal bleeding of red ink – all goals where Obama has failed miserably.
And despite the liberal media’s best efforts, that’s what this election is about.