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Monday, September 10, 2012

Romney-ology: Voters Have No Reason to Trust Him

Joe Scarborough says Governor Mitt Romney must turn around his specificity messaging if he expects to win the 2012 presidential election. At this point, Romney seems to be walking in and out of the same political door. He gives a different message with nearly every interview.  

Voters are scratching their heads about "Romney-ology". 

Even if Romney's campaign tries to change to a more specific communications strategy, the candidate is trapped by his own messaging door, closing behind him in both directions.  

Some glaring examples:

Mrs. Ann Romney told Meet the Press host David Gregory on September 9, that her husband is demonized by political opponents. But, it's Governor Romney's muggy messaging that puts his credibility at risk. 

Mrs. Romney says her husband is a compassionate man. Okay, we'll take her word for it; but this is what Romney said:

“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor — we have a safety net there,” he said.  How can Romney be compassionate, but not then claim he doesn't care about the very poor (because they are taken care of)?
In this statement, it's obvious Romney has no understanding, whatsoever, about what it means to be poor.  We can't fault him for this, but he shouldn't reinforce this elite perception.

Romney selected fiscal ultra conservative Congressman Paul Ryan to be his Vice-Presidential running mate. Ryan has  problems with his own credible messaging, but one place he's clear about is budget cutting.  Congressman Ryan wants to reduce the nation's deficit on the backs of people who are beneficiaries of the safety net programs that Romney sites in his "I don't care about the very poor" message.

Another example - Romney told Gregory on Meet the Press that he'll keep some parts of President Obama's heath care reform, including coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. This is probably the worst Romney-ology neologism, because he's been crystal clear in primary debates and stump speeches that he'll repeal "Obamacare".  Reality check: any insurance actuary will tell politicians how it's impossible to create a sustainable health care coverage plan unless the risk pool includes premiums high enough to cover those with pre-existing conditions. If Romney wants to assure insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, he must allow for how the coverage will be paid for. Either those with pre-existing conditions will pay an extraordinary price for coverage or the mandate for everyone to buy health insurance will be required to support sustainability.  No way can an insurance company cover everyone with pre-existing conditions, unless the risk pool is large enough to guarantee sustainability over time. This translates to "mandate" for everyone to buy coverage.

Romney-ology screwed up his messaging about the automobile industry, the one policy arena where he should have the most business credibility.  I'm pretty sure, in retrospect, Romney wishes he could recall what he said about allowing General Motors to go bankrupt, meaning, the company would become more competitive post Chapter 11 filing.  His untethered political faux pas created the clearest distinction between Romney and President Obama. There was no ambiguity from President Obama, who clearly told Americans he would not let the automobile industry fail.

President Obama paraphrases Romney with this quote:
“It’s good to remember that the fact that there were some folks who were willing to let this industry die. Because of folks coming together, are are now back in a place where we can compete with any car company in the world.”

Romney was speaking like a Chief Executive Officer rather than a high level politician when he made his irresponsible comment about allowing General Motors to go bankrupt.  It was plain wrong for Michigan native Romney to make such a callous statement about an industry so dominant in his home state.

Romney's litany of flip-flop statements sound like an unchained screen door banging in the wind of a thunder storm.  

Between the 2 candidates available for voters to choose from, we need to believe a politician who explains why it's important for Americans to vote for President Obama.  Indeed, President Clinton's Democratic Convention Speech offers reasons to support President Obama.  Although most politicians have special credibility problems, the Romney messaging has virtually no history of consistency.  

Given the choice Americans have to make in November, it's safer to continue with the Obama plan for economic recovery - slow but steady arithmetic, adding up to equal growth.




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