President Barack Obama held a campaign event at George Mason University Friday, marking his second visit to GMU this month. Mason Votes was there to cover all angles of his visit. His remarks pleased the partisan crowd, but I doubt they will do much to persuade independents or undecided voters with less than three weeks left in the race.
Obama began by calling Mitt Romney’s five-point plan to create 12 million jobs, “a sketchy deal” and quoted the New York Times’ opinion that it was a “snow job on the American people.” Obama said that Romney’s plan really only has one point, “that those at the very top play by a different set of rules.”
Now with rhetoric like that, you might think Romney’s plan only cuts taxes for the rich. You may think Romney really wants to stick it to the middle class. In reality, the only person shoveling anything is Barack Obama, and it isn’t snow. Romney has campaigned on a 20% tax cut across the board and then capping the number of deductions and exemptions the rich can take. This would assure that the rich still paid the same share of the tax burden, while lowering the rate for the vast majority of Americans. So Obama has set up and has been consistently attacking a Romney straw man argument. He ridicules the tax plan he wants Romney to have, not the one he actually has.
The President did have one new attack line for this rally. He coined the term, “Romnesia”. Obama claimed that Romney had been avoiding his prior positions and thus called it a “condition he’s going through”. That ended up being the big headline out of the rally, Obama’s clever new attack line.
Beyond that term’s small dose of immaturity, what’s more striking is what the speech generally left until the very end, his actual second term agenda. He ran down a litany of points at the end of his remarks. The term I caught on to was “invest”. Obama said he’s going to “invest” in education, clean energy, roads, etc. What he won’t tell you is that when he says he will “invest”, it means you will have to pay. And there are not enough rich people in America for him to tax in order to balance that equation. He attacks Romney for not having specifics, but he never has told the American people how he’ll pay for all these new “investments”. The answer isn’t hard to discern. What he’ll do in a second term is exactly what he did in his first, which is put it on our children’s credit card in the form of debt. If Barack Obama is reelected, the national debt will hit $20 trillion, guaranteed.
In the end, the Obama campaign needs boosted turnout among his voters in Northern Virginia to offset the Romney vote down south. That’s why he is mobilizing the largest college in NoVa in person, twice. But he can come a dozen times and it still won’t change the fact that there are 23 million unemployed Americans being ignored by his campaign rhetoric. Higher gas and food prices being ignored. The lowest household income and take-home pay in a decade is being ignored. Those are issues central to this campaign, and it’s why Obama is in trouble and in real danger of being the first President in 20 years to not win a second term.
*The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
** Photo by Curtis Kalin.