Governor Romney is finally sealing the deal, even if by eliminating the opponents from a less-than-stellar field, and this looks like the two-man race that most experts predicted 12 months ago. If tomorrow's Florida primary goes as advertised, Romney wins by at least double-digits, and the run for Tampa becomes a mere formality.
More importantly, within the past week both President Obama and Governor Romney have begun to cement their core economic messages. President Obama's message will stress Fairness and Capitalism with Rules. Romney's message is to call Obama a socialist, and demand unrestrained Capitalism. If both campaigns stick to these messages, we can look to four more years of Obama, because Obama's message is backed by solid evidence, and Romney's message is not.President Obama:
"To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce common-sense safeguards to protect the American people. That's what we've done in this country for more than a century. It's why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It's why we have speed limits and child labor laws. It's why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. And it's why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients."
Thursday night's GOP Presidential debate, the 19th in this election cycle's non-stop Debate-o-Rama since this Presidential election season began, saw Mitt Romney find his groove. In taking the fight to Newt Gingrich, his resumed his front runner status. He also restated his major economic theme:Mitt Romney's closing debate answer:These two economic themes, along with the release of Romney's taxes, have presented a clearer view of what Election 2012 will have in store - This election will be about defining the future of American Capitalism.
"This is a time where we're going to decide whether America will remain the great hope of the 21st century, whether this will be an American century, or, instead, whether we'll continue to go down a path to become more and more like Europe, a social welfare state. That's where we're headed. Our economy is becoming weaker. The foundation of our future economy is being eroded. Government has become too large. We're headed in a very dangerous direction.
I believe to get America back on track, we're going to have to have dramatic, fundamental, extraordinary change in Washington to be able to allow our private sector to once again reemerge competitively, to scale back the size of government and to maintain our strength abroad in our military capacities."
On the right, Romney is asserting that Obama's policies will amount to the American adoption of European Socialism. On the Left, Obama is asserting that Romney is seeking to return America to the failed policies of unregulated Capitalism that brought us the Great Recession and the Great Depression.
If Obama, however, makes this fight into a question of what kind of Capitalism we want - a heartless, soulless, brainless Capitalism, or a thoughtful, studied, intelligent Capitalism, then he wins because the same Pew poll found an increasing ability of Americans to see the flaws of Capitalism, even while still preferring it to Socialism.
President Obama can, and must, win this argument. And he will because Romney's message is factually challenged about President Obama's policies, and is historically inaccurate by failing to recognize the weaknesses of unregulated Capitalism, or the need for Capitalism with Rules.
If Romney makes this into a fight of "Capitalism versus Socialism" he wins as Americans, according to recent polling from the Pew Research Center, highly favor Capitalism, with independents having a net +20% favorable view of Capitalism.
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The socialist name calling, echoed without challenge by the main stream press, seems to be working, too. Americans perceive Barack Obama as furthest away from their own political viewpoint, according to a just released Gallup poll.
It is no accident that Republicans picked the "socialist" moniker to pin to Pres. Obama's coat tails. Socialism is a negative for most Americans with six-in-ten (60%) saying they have a negative reaction to the word.
Socialism is the most politically polarizing of the most common political monikers – the reaction is almost universally negative among conservatives.
These are among the findings of the national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Dec. 7-11, 2011.Related:
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- The GOP Is Advocating A Tax Increase On The Middle Class
- Elizabeth Warren refutes GOP meme that policy where everyone pays their fair share of taxes amounts to “class warfare” against the wealthy