Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
It’s the phrase you add to whatever fortune you’re given in a fortune cookie. You know like, “You will have the time of your life…in bed.” The Obama campaign can play the game and mount an effective attack against Mitt Romney, by adding at the end of ever policy statement, ” Even Mitt Romney agrees.” Because there’s probably documentation that shows that Mitt Romney likely has agreed on the policy at some time.
More than Republican and Democrats like to admit, the truth is Obama and Romney are very close to each other. Throw their political marketing aside and look at their voting and plans they’ve supported, you see, in policy, both are essentially moderate Republicans from the 90s. It’s just that now over a decade of political shift, those policies are now considered wildly liberal. Hence the purge of Republican moderates from the party. Romney’s last-decade stances and the Republican/conservative inquisition are why Romney now runs from his past as Governor. And Obama is losing enthusiasm from very liberal portions of Democrats, because his proposals are not liberal enough for traditional or very blue state Democrats.
Without the political pressures, both candidates are very much the same. But politics and political campaigns are about making a choice. Choices are easier when they are sharp, clear choices. That is what Romney is currently trying to do. Stepping away from the programs and ideas he has supported in the past, simply because they look too close to his presidential competitor. So close it looks like support for President Obama’s idea. A concept which is currently verboten in the Republican Party.
The response to that, in every policy statement, the Obama Administration puts out, remind them (because it’s likely) Mitt Romney said the same thing or even supported it at one time. For example:
“I support and individual mandate and the Patient Care Act…even Mitt Romney agrees.”
Both Obama program and Mitt Romney’s solution is Massachusetts are exactly the same. To the point that even though each is a large piece of legislation, Romney is really only arguing semantics. The mandate is a “tax” not “penalty” and the reason why his plan is good and “Obamacare is bad is only because it’s at the state level (but apparently the Republican idea of allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines is perfectly fine).
“The economic situation, I’ve been given makes it a challenge to turn around our Economy. Even Mitt Romney agrees.”
This is Mitt Romney at a press conference in 2006:
“You guys are bright enough to look at the numbers. I came in and the jobs had been just falling right off a cliff, I came in and they kept falling for 11 months. And if you are going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should have immediately turned around, well that would be silly. It takes awhile to get things turned around. We were in a recession, we were losing jobs every month.”
“Gay people should be allowed to marry. Even Mitt Romney agrees.”
In Romney’s 1994 Senate race in Massachusetts, Romney said to the to a gay Boston newspaper, Bay Windows, that he’d be better than Ted Kennedy on gay rights saying,
“I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.” He promised the group that he would support laws preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace and implied his hope for the eventual full integration of gays in the military, a policy that was ultimately approved 16 years later.”
A strategy of “Even Mitt Romney agrees” keep Romney on the defensive and not too talkative about his past. That’s because Romney is always straddling two groups. Moderate, slightly more progressive-center voters he needs to win. And a “Don’t agree with Obama” base he needs to keep. And too much of a lean to one group turns off the other. So he’s in a constant state of twisting and pretzel logic to try to keep both sides happy. Often he just tried to keep his mouth shut. And that leads to the problem I mentioned in my previous Romney post.
So when you add “Even Mitt Romney” agrees, the campaign camps eyes roll because they know they got a lot of explaining to do. And as Karl Rove said, “when you’re explaining, you’re losing.”