President Obama launched his 2012 reelection campaign in Ohio, not only fired up with a positive vision for the future, but also firing away on Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
After discussing some of his achievements, Obama said that this is a make or break moment for the middle class. He also went after Republican nominee Mitt Romney by name, and said that Romney has drawn the wrong lessons from his life experiences at Bain and being governor of Massachusetts. He said that Romney doesn’t get and understand that maximizing profits by outsourcing, layoffs, and union busting isn’t good for America. Obama said that Romney and his friends in Congress think the same bad ideas will lead to a different result, or that we don’t remember what happened before. The president said, we remember and we aren’t going back.
Obama said we want business to succeed, but it doesn’t matter how many times they try to explain it corporations aren’t people. People are people, and people and businesses succeed when people get a chance at a good education. Obama said that we don’t expect government to solve all of our problems, and it shouldn’t try. Not every regulation is smart, not every tax dollar can be spent wisely but that isn’t an excuse to tell people you are on your own or that they should have borrow money from their parents to go to college.
The president managed to walk the fine line between criticizing his opponent and maintaining his positive message. The theme of Obama’s speech was togetherness and what we can achieve together. In contrast with Mitt Romney’s constant negativity, the president laid out a positive vision for the future which he contrasted with Mitt Romney’s turn back the clock to the Bush years campaign. Obama called Romney a rubber stamp for the congressional Republican agenda. The president did something that Mitt Romney has refused to do since he began his campaign. He laid out his vision for the future.
Obama called for an end to the four billion dollar a year Big Oil subsidy, and appealed to the middle class with his fair share taxation argument. He also said that nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a roof over their head or a job when they come home. The president hammered Romney’s support for continuing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and promised to use half of what we have been spending on war to pay down the deficit, and the other half to rebuild America.
The president hit Romney for proposing a quarter million dollar tax cut for millionaires without telling us how he will pay for it, and said that he refuses to pay for another tax cut for millionaires by cutting programs like Head Start and Medicaid. He said as long as he is president, he will will never let Medicare be turned into a voucher program.
Obama’s argument was simply that a vote for Romney is a vote to go backwards. The Romney campaign has been trying to put the president on the defensive, but instead Obama has made this election about what direction America wants to go in.
Romney is in big trouble. He can’t match President Obama’s ability to communicate. He doesn’t have a positive vision for the country. He can’t even clearly express why he is running, and why he wants to be president.
Obama told the crowd that Republicans won’t be offering an answer to America’s questions, but they will be spending a record amount of money on negative ads that will be used to exploit people’s frustrations,and his speech was summed with the question, it’s not about how you are doing today, but how you will be doing tomorrow? Obama asked the question will we be better off four years from now if we still have the courage to move forward?
The president said that there will be more nastiness and negativity than they faced in 2008, but unbelievably Obama was able to make the argument as an incumbent that his campaign is still about hope and change along with ordinary people who believe in the face of great odds that we can make a difference in this country.
If this is the course the president is going to take, he is not going to let the Republicans get away with an unchallenged negative campaign, while also running on a hopeful vision of the future. The Obama campaign is already allowing the Romney campaign to define itself with their own negativity.
Mitt Romney just saw his future today, and it is a buzz saw named Barack Obama. After listening to Obama, it is clear that Mitt Romney is in deep, deep trouble.