Head to Head

The Romney and Obama campaigns have released two talking head ads.  Obama’s ad consists of a laundry list of things he wants to do, which begs the question why he didn’t do any of them in his first term.  Two things struck me about the ad.  First, where Obama says we should take the savings from not being in Afghanistan and use that money to pay down the national debt and for “nation building”, shudder, here at home.  The mendacity of this is truly startling since with a trillion-dollar deficit Obama knows that there is no money other than borrowed money that will be freed up by no more involvement in Afghanistan.  The statement screams the complete contempt that Obama has for the intelligence of most of his supporters.  Second, the sinister phrase “economic patriotism”.  It brings to mind the Democrat dream tax return.  Question One:  “How much income did you make last year?  Insert answer in blank and send a check for that sum made payable to the United States Treasury.”

Romney’s ad was not nearly hard-hitting enough, and Romney seems to be unable to bring himself to go bare knuckles against Obama. Most Mormons I have encountered tend to be very polite.  Romney had better work hard to lose a good part of that politeness before the first debate next week.

Update:  Apparently former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin coined the phrase “economic patriotism”:
“I am absolutely convinced that France has exceptional assets and has nothing to  fear from international competition. But our forces must by united, organised,  and mobilised so that we have the will to win together, business chiefs, social  groups, the state, and workers,” he said in an interview in Les Echos newspaper.”



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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. DMcC: “Romney’s ad was not nearly hard hitting enough, and Romney seems to be unable to bring himself to go bare knuckles against Obama.”

    He had no trouble baring his knuckles and his teeth against Gingrich and Santorum. Let me offer this proposition – Romney can only fight bare knuckles against people to his right, never to his left. This is a guy who disliked Reagan after all (as do many establishment types, remember Huntsman??). People will have to vote Against Obama not For Romney. Also they have to put more conservatives into Congress to push him. We will see if that happens. Romney is being helped more than he deserves by the collapsing economy and foreign affairs. In a year 2000 kind of race he would be obliterated.

  2. “He had no trouble baring his knuckles and his teeth against Gingrich and Santorum.”

    I thought that was rather sotto voce actually. Gingrich and Santorum were not so much defeated by Romney as they were defeated by their own weaknesses as candidates. Gingrich by his colorful personal history and lack of campaign funds and Santorum by lack of campaign funds and a lack of personal discipline to not be baited by the media into going off message.

    By bare knuckles I mean something like this:


    Obama has a bad record and Romney can bring that up continually, but not if he confuses the issue by giving Obama the benefit of a doubt he is not entitled to.

  3. I never said Santorum and Gingrich were defeated by Romney’s bare knuckles, although Romney came very very close to being ousted by each of them, ( Gingrich in FL and Santorum in MI) because he was that weak of a candidate. I’m just explaining why I am not surprised at his tepid half-hearted criticism of Obama although many people are apparently. Romney even is constraining Ryan. And for that matter have Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels etc etc not gone out of their way to tone down critiques of Obama?? (Romney would have been far happier running against Reagan back in 1980.) Look at the Repub convention. It was entirely devoted to showing the electorate Romney was not like those other mean spirited Repubs but was a warm cuddly guy. He is a nice guy but he barely mentioned the economy or jobs because he was so tied up proving he was just as nice as the Dems all are. Then people are surprised again he got no bounce.

  4. Mark Tapscott posted at Instapundit . . .

    REMEMBER WHEN JIMMY CARTER WAS BLOWING REAGAN OUT OF THE WATER? Powerline’s John Hinderaker offers a timely reminder that something very similar to what is happening now with the Gallup Poll and President Obama occurred at a similar point in the 1980 campaign. “Americans are by no means infallible, but are they really dumb enough, or self-destructive enough, to want another four years of Barack Obama’s failures,” Hinderaker asks. Me, neither.

    Don’t get cocky, people.

  5. “economic patriotism” France has announced a 75% tax for the millionaires. Courtesy of The Creative Minority Report. Does America have enough millionaires to have”economic patriotism”? The corporations ought to exhibit a little more “economic patriotism” at least by creating jobs with all the stimulus money instead of sitting on it. Fool me once, it is your fault. Fool me twice, it is my fault.

  6. “Romney’s ad was not nearly hard-hitting enough, and Romney seems to be unable to bring himself to go bare knuckles against Obama.” Obama’s villainy is hard to approach but the campaign is still young.

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