Romney hoping his 'fair shot' will be on target
Mitt Romney is fighting the campaign on the premise that everything is Barack Obama’s fault
MITT ROMNEY has understood the potency of President Barack Obama’s theme of fairness and turned it on its head, portraying Obama as the chief obstruction on the road to prosperity and himself as the guarantor of “a fair shot” for all Americans.
“If I am president, I will give the American people a fair shot,” the Republican presidential candidate promised at a rally beside the Mississippi River on Monday evening.
Romney has been on a five-day bus tour of six states, billed as the Every Town Counts tour, beginning in New Hampshire and ending in Michigan last night.
Since Obama’s landmark speech in Kansas set the tone for his re-election campaign last December, the president has constantly reiterated that when secretaries are taxed at a higher rate than their millionaire bosses, when good universities are accessible only to the rich, and when corporations reap record profits by slashing wages and benefits for employees, the odds are skewed against the middle classes.
Romney’s strategy is to hold Obama responsible for everything that is wrong with the economy and turn the November presidential election into a referendum against him.
“Obama’s new pledge is ‘Forward’,” Romney said in Davenport. “Forward, forward, over the cliff. We have a president who has put us on the path to [debt-ridden] California and Europe.”
At every rally, Romney asks of various categories of Americans: “Are they getting a fair shot?” to which the audience cries “No”. Like a cuckoo stealing another bird’s nest, Romney has co-opted Obama’s best line.
More audaciously, Romney, the millionaire founder of Bain Capital, which fired employees by the thousands, now portrays himself as the defender of the downtrodden.
In his speeches, Obama analyses and explains. Romney delivers unfounded assertions in easily digested sound bites.
As documented by Thomas Edsall in the New York Times, the Democratic Party loses when the white working class – loosely defined as those without a university diploma – vote Republican. They’re the people Romney is targeting on this bus tour through six swing states.
“President Obama is just too out of touch to recognise the suffering. He just doesn’t see it,” Ben Lange, a Republican congressional candidate from Iowa told reporters while waiting for Romney and his wife Ann to float several miles down the Mississippi on a riverboat at Dubuque.
A dressage horse owned partly by Ann Romney has qualified for the London Olympics, which the Romneys will attend. The couple declared a $77,000 loss for the horse, Rafalca, on their 2010 income tax returns – more than double the annual salary of the average American.