Romney to present proposals on economy
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL candidate Mitt Romney plans to talk up some specifics of his economic proposals as he enters a critical period of his campaign and tries to erase a small lead that President Barack Obama has built in the polls.
Mr Romney’s challenge is to keep it close until the campaign goes into its conclusive phase next month, when he and Mr Obama meet on October 3rd for the first of three presidential debates that will dominate the final weeks before the November 6th election.
In a race defined by the weakness of the US economy, Mr Romney needs to convince votersthey can trust him as the Obama campaign tries to raise doubts about the economic proposals he has offered, such as what government programmes he would cut and how he would pay for a 20 per cent across-the-board tax cut.
To that end, Romney advisers say the former Massachusetts governor plans this week to talk up the specifics of each of the central points of his economic message: beefing-up energy production and trade; improving education; cutting government spending; and helping small businesses by, among other things, reducing regulations.
“We are, starting Monday, going to hammer on each aspect of the Romney plan for a stronger middle class,” a senior Romney adviser said. Today and Tuesday, Mr Romney will talk about the US’s burdensome $16 trillion debt, Mr Obama’s role in making it bigger and ways to reduce it, a senior campaign aide said.
Mr Romney has been pressing the five themes as part of his stump speech but has been under pressure from some conservatives to provide more specifics rather than simply campaign on the struggling economy and blame Mr Obama for 8.1 per cent jobless.
The Romney senior adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his plans this week were not in reaction to criticism.
Instead, it is more a response to voters’ desire for both sides to talk in more detail. The adviser noted that Mr Obama has faced questions as well about what he would do in a second term.
A raft of new surveys of voters showed Mr Obama got a measurable bounce of support from the Democratic National Convention earlier this month after being locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Mr Romney for months.
According to a New York Times/CBS poll released on Friday, Mr Obama had taken away Mr Romney’s longstanding advantage as the candidate voters say is most likely to restore the economy and create jobs, and put him at 49 per cent to Mr Romney’s 46 per cent among those considered most likely to vote.
A Gallup survey published yesterday showed Mr Obama’s lead at 48 per cent to 45 per cent for Mr Romney. Mr Romney’s aides feel the race remains as close as ever and that Mr Obama’s convention bounce will evaporate. “We feel very good,” said the adviser. “We just have to continue building our ground game.”
Mr Romney’s biggest test yet may come in the first debate, in Denver. It will focus on domestic policy. The candidate engaged in a debate preparation session yesterday, the latest meeting aimed at studying up on how best to deal with Mr Obama in the debates.
Last week, the campaign was dominated by foreign policy after four Americans were killed at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and Muslim anger at a film denigrating the Prophet Muhammad led to anti-American protests throughout much of the Middle East. Mr Romney’s response to the bloodshed, criticising the US embassy in Cairo for a statement he said was essentially an apology to the protesters, backfired on him and he spent days on the defensive, distracting attention away from his focus on the economy. – (Reuters)