Today in Wisconsin, Mitt Romney delivered what his campaign calls his closing argument in support of his candidacy. It focused on the economy and featured Romney’s themes of change and optimism. Here are some excerpts:
Four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short.
He promised to be a “post-partisan president” but he became the most partisan– blaming, attacking, dividing.
He was going to focus on creating jobs. Instead, he focused on Obamacare, which killed jobs.
He said he was going to cut the federal deficit by half; then he doubled it.
He said that the unemployment rate would now be 5.2%; today we learned that it is 7.9%–it is 9 million jobs short of what he promised. Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office.
He promised that he would propose a plan to save Social Security and Medicare from insolvency. He did not; rather, he raided $716 billion from Medicare for his vaunted Obamacare.
He would lower health premiums by $2,500. Now they are higher by $3,000. And gasoline? The American family pays $2,000 a year more for gasoline today than when he was elected.
He said he would work across the aisle on the most important issues. He has not met on the economy, or on the budget, or on jobs, with either the Republican leader of the House or the Senate since July. Instead of bridging the divide, he has made it wider.
How is it that he has fallen so short of what he promised? In part, it is because he has never led, never worked across the aisle, never truly understood how jobs are created in the economy.
And today, he makes new promises, promises he will be unable to keep, because he admits that he will stay on the same path. The same course we have been on will not lead to a better destination.
The same path means $20 trillion in debt, crippling unemployment, stagnant take-home pay, depressed home values, and a devastated military. And unless we change course, we may be looking at another recession.
The question of this election comes down to this: do you want more of the same or do you want real change?
That is very strong stuff, which sums up the case for Romney. The rest of the speech was less focused, but included plenty of good moments:
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will continue to promote government and demote business. He chose his own jobs council, made up of business leaders. And he hasn’t met with them in 9 months. 9 months.
I like business, I don’t see it as a necessary evil. I see it as a means for people to fulfill their dreams. …
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will say every good thing he can about education, but in the final analysis, he will do what his largest campaign supporters–the public-sector unions–insist upon. And your kids will have the same schools with the same results.
When I am president, I will be a voice of the children and their parents. There is no union for the PTA. …
If there is anyone worried the last four years are the best we can do, if there is anyone who fears that the American dream is fading away, if there is anyone who wonders whether better jobs and better paychecks are things of the past, I have a clear and unequivocal message: with the right leadership, America will come roaring back.
We are Americans. We can do anything.
The only thing that stands between us and some of the best years we have known is lack of leadership. And that’s why we have elections.
This Tuesday is a moment to look into the future and imagine what we can do … to put the past four years behind us and start building a new future.
You saw the differences when President Obama and I were side-by-side in our debates. He says it has to be this way. I say it can’t stay this way. He’s offering excuses, I’ve got a plan. He’s hoping we’ll settle. I can’t wait for us to get started.
Americans don’t settle. We build, we aspire, we listen to that voice inside that says, “We can do better.” A better job; a better life for our kids; a bigger, better country.
That better life is out there, waiting for us. Our destiny is in your hands.
Then on into the conclusion, which struck me as rather sappy; but then, I’m not an undecided voter. All in all, a powerful message and one that goes back to where the campaign started: with Obama’s terrible record on the economy, and his utter failure to make good on the promises he made in 2008.