• 45°

Ann McFeatters: How Romney can win

WASHINGTON – It is getting difficult to see how Mitt Romney wins in November, but let us be imaginative and offer some suggestions to keep up the suspense.
After a bad month of gaffes – such as forgetting to mention, in his speech accepting the GOP nomination, Afghanistan and our soldiers who have been at war for 10 years – Romney is still reeling from the impact of his now-infamous off-the-cuff remarks in Boca Raton, Fla. At a dinner for which guests paid $50,000 each, he arrogantly dismissed 47 percent of Americans as moochers who get government aid, pay no federal income taxes and don’t take responsibility for their lives.
(Presumably, he was not talking about tax loopholes Congress gave rich people such as himself, so he pays only 13 percent in taxes. No, he was talking about the elderly, veterans and those who earn too little to pay federal income tax, although they do pay federal payroll taxes and state, sales and local taxes. One wonders what more a single mother working at a minimum-wage job should do to take responsibility for her life.)
Romney is now lagging in the polls in key battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan. But there is some hope for him:
• Money. Although he should be out begging our forgiveness for his lack of understanding of how the 99 percent live, he continues going to off-the-record fundraisers. Of Forbes magazine’s 400 richest Americans (they are worth $1.7 trillion, collectively), more are giving to Romney and super PACs supporting him than are giving to President Barack Obama. Money buys TV ads, which spew false accusations such as that Obama is gutting the work requirement for welfare recipients.
• Voter registration restrictions. With almost half the states instituting new requirements to vote, such as requiring time-consuming new IDs or limiting early voting, thousands of elderly and minority voters may be turned away from the polls. Republicans who pushed through these laws — in the absence of data that there is widespread voting fraud – hope the restrictions benefit Romney.
• Provide specifics. So far, Romney has grandly promised he will “create” jobs and spur economic growth. But he has given us no details except that he wants to cut government spending, lower tax rates on the wealthy and get rid of regulations that govern most businesses. He has not said what he would cut. Social Security? Medicare? Tax deductions for home ownership and employer-provided health care? Government efforts to provide clean water and air and safe food? Food assistance for mothers and children?
• Stop spending weekends at his many vacation homes and do more retail politics. He’s finally been persuaded to do a bus tour in Ohio, for example, because no Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.
• Hope for more bad economic news or grim developments abroad. This will remind uncertain voters of their disappointment with Obama. Romney’s most effective ad was giving voters permission to change horses in midstream because Obama got hit with so many disasters he couldn’t keep all his promises in four years.
It’s astonishing that we still don’t know who Mitt Romney is. Is he a pragmatist? An optimist? A visionary? A moderate who has moved far right on social and fiscal issues, promoting class warfare to appeal to the conservative base? Or is he a true conservative who is sorry he was once pro-choice, believed the science behind global climate change and instituted health care reform in Massachusetts?
Does he have little compassion for those who are struggling, as he indicated to his rich friends? If he believes so strongly in America, why does he keep his money in offshore bank accounts, refuse to divulge his tax returns and send U.S. jobs overseas?
Does he really favor war with Iran? Just how would he “get tough” with China?
Maybe we’ll find out who he is. Maybe we won’t.
Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters has covered the White House and national politics since 1986. Email amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras