New On the Debates

October 4, 2012

Mitt Romney must use the debates to spotlight President Obama’s disastrous record — with no mercy.

Let’s just consider a few major points Romney must make on domestic issues.

Obama’s record and his agenda for a second term are a target-rich environment. Unless the majority of voting Americans have decided to embrace Obama’s vision of a fundamentally changed America — an America that barely resembles the freest, most prosperous and mightiest land in world history that we have come to adore — then Obama will experience a crushing defeat in November.

Indeed, Romney should be unafraid to point out that Obama’s thinking is out of step with the American idea. He should demand that Obama explain why he has so little confidence in the private sector and free markets to generate economic growth.

Romney mustn’t dare understate his case; he cannot pull any punches in describing the gravity of our national predicament and in drawing the sharpest contrast between his agenda and Obama’s record and plans for the next four years.

I am convinced that for a number of reasons, far too many Americans don’t realize how damaging Obama’s policies have been and how dangerous his continued presidency would be for the future of this nation.

Romney must not let Obama get away with claiming that he and other Republicans don’t care about minorities or the poor — and explain that his pro-growth message is for all Americans, irrespective of race, gender or one’s income level.

Romney must turn that malicious charge right around on Obama, pointing out that he’s the one who has been engaging in the politics of division and demonizing groups and sectors of our society. If Obama were truly dedicated to lifting up minorities and lower-income groups, he would be inspiring them with a message of hope and opportunity rather than promising them more government assistance, more food stamps and more cellphones.

Romney must be unafraid to point out that there is nothing compassionate about policies that harm the economy, diminish people’s opportunities to work and become self-sufficient, and saddle future generations with crushing debt.

He must very clearly tie Obama and his policies to our current economic condition and note that it is irresponsible and unprecedented for any president to refuse to accept responsibility for his own policies.

Romney must show that we are destined for financial ruin if we don’t change course and that Obama has given every indication he would not change course. When Romney is finished making his case, there should be no question in the voters’ minds that he believes it is urgent that Obama be defeated.

This isn’t rocket science. Romney should prove that Obama is the worst spender in the nation’s history and ridicule Obama’s claim that he is the most frugal president in the past 60 years.

Romney should tell the voters that though we are on a collision course for a Grecian-style financial catastrophe, our course is eminently correctable and that he and Paul Ryan have concrete workable plans to bring our budget into long-term solvency and restructure entitlements in a way that would preserve Medicare, protect those who are 55 or older and enhance options for those who are younger.

It’s important that Romney take the offensive here and say that Obama has been disingenuous in telling the voters that Romney’s plan would destroy, rather than save, Medicare. He must stress that it is Obama’s policies that are guaranteed to destroy Medicare, because everyone acknowledges that unless the program is restructured, it will become insolvent. Yet Obama has not only obstructed the Republicans’ realistic plans to reform entitlements and bring spending under control but also refused to come up with any plan on his own — ever.

Nor must Romney allow Obama to persist with the lies that President George W. Bush’s “two wars and tax cuts for the wealthy” caused our exploding deficits and debt. The tax cuts did not diminish revenue. Our problem is spending, and Obama has grown the debt at significantly more than double the rate of President Bush. Obama will have added almost $6 trillion to the debt in his first four years, compared with Bush’s $5 trillion in eight years, which was plenty bad enough.

Romney must relentlessly press Obama on why he has been so cynically casual about his accumulation of debt and our impending financial train wreck. He must be explicit that an Obama second term would necessarily give us more of the same because he refuses to back away from reckless spending packages — his jobs bill, his incessant demand for high-speed rail and greater infrastructure expenditures, his commitment to seemingly unlimited Solyndra-like projects, and his own budgets, which project deficits averaging $1 trillion a year in perpetuity.

Next, there are the minor matters of Obamacare, Obama’s upcoming record tax hikes, his war on domestic energy and business, and his egregious foreign policy — for starters.