Romney appeals to voters’ sense of disappointment
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally accepted the Republican nomination for President last night, telling supporters: “The time has come to turn the page.”
Taking a page out of the Ronald Reagan’s political playbook, Romney repeated the memorable question posed by the Republican icon 32 years earlier: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
“Hope and change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama?” said Romney. “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as President when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”
The Republican National Convention gave Romney the opportunity to “reset” his campaign. After bombarding viewers with four days of uninterrupted anti-Obama, pro-Romney messages, two national polls released on Friday reported slight post-convention bumps for the GOP nominee.
A Rasmussen tracking poll showed Romney overtaking Obama by 1% with 45% of likely voters surveyed indicating their support for the Republican nominee compared to 44% for Obama. A Reuters/IPSOS daily tracking poll found Romney in the lead with 44% among likely voters compared to Obama’s 42%; Romney was trailing Obama by 4% before the Republican convention was held. The Reuters/IPSOS poll surveyed 1,481 American registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9%
Analysis of Romney’s RNC speech
Last night’s speech was designed to elicit voters’ disappointment with Obama, reinforcing the RNC’s opening day theme “We can do better.”
Attacking Obama’s character, Romney deftly used the persistently high unemployment rate to brand Obama as an “empty suit” politician who’s good at making promises but lacks the necessary skills and experience to follow through. The attacks were juxtaposed with vignettes presenting Romney as a man his neighbors and church members could count on to help in their moments of need and a business executive who has built up start-ups and saved struggling businesses.
“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept,” Romney said. “The time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.”
In a nutshell, Romney’s speech was a verbose but refined way of calling Obama a failure and asking Americans to give up on the incumbent President.
While Romney spent most of his speech lamenting about the sorry state of the economy (perhaps to demonstrate that he is in touch with middle-class Americans), he did cover some issues. Romney recited his 5-point jobs plan (which calls for repealing Affordable Care Act, cutting taxes, encouraging more oil and gas drilling, blocking cuts to the defense budget, and promoting charter schools and vouchers), pledged his support for Israel, and promised to be tougher against Iran, China, and Russia. Romney also took a hard stance against abortion and same-sex marriage – much to the delight of social conservatives.
“As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America’s first liberty: the freedom of religion,” Romney said.
- WhatTheFolly.com: Mitt Romney: “Time to restore the Promise of America”
- Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll – Friday, Aug. 31, 2012
- Romney takes lead over Obama with convention “bounce”: Reuters/Ipsos poll
- Ipsos/Reuters Poll: Republican National Convention Day 4
- Ipsos/Reuters Poll: Republican National Convention Day 3
- Ipsos/Reuters Poll: Republican National Convention Day 2
- Ipsos/Reuters Poll: Republican National Convention Day 1
- Obama and Romney general election, August 2012 Post-ABC poll
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