Tonight’s speech from the president had the trademark soaring rhetoric but was devoid of any sense of responsibility for the disappointments of the last four years.
The speech was one last plea to a country ready to move on. “Four more years of the same thing will make everything better,” was effectively the president’s message. But with no new ideas, he failed to convince voters the next four years won’t just look like the last four.
In 2008, in front of Greek columns and a cheering stadium, President Obama promised hope and change, and he vowed to make life better. So now, four years later, the question is “Are we better off?”
After nearly one full term of President Obama’s policies, the answer is clear. We are not better off. ObamaCare, massive regulations, a failed stimulus, crony capitalism, new taxes, and exploding debt have taken their toll. No speech can hide the hard facts:
- Over 23 million Americans are struggling for work.
- Our national debt recently soared past $16 trillion.
- A record-high 46 million Americans are on food stamps.
- Gas prices have doubled.
- Our manufacturing sector is weakening.
- Household incomes have dropped by $4,000.
- More than 10 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgages.
- Poverty rates are headed toward a fifty-year high.
If nothing changes, we’ll only get more of the same. “Forward” makes a fine slogan, but only if it’s backed up by substantive policy. Offering warmed-over promises does not excuse failing to keep old promises.
In 2008, Barack Obama had no record. His campaign was based solely on words. This time, words won’t suffice. There’s a clear record, and it’s clear we can do better. “Incomplete” is inadequate.
President Obama cannot run on his record. So, as we saw tonight, President Obama is trying to run on Bill Clinton’s record. But while the two can hug all they want, President Obama will never be President Clinton.
Clinton worked with Republicans, reformed welfare, and balanced the budget; Obama ignored Republicans, increased regulations, and exploded the budget deficit. Americans are smart enough to see the difference.
Besides, running on ’90s nostalgia is an odd choice for a “Forward” campaign.
Tomorrow morning, after the sugar high of tonight’s speech wears off, Americans will still wake up in the dismal Obama economy, and the monthly jobs report will come out. It will show unemployment above 8 percent for a record 43rd consecutive month and confirm an objective, undeniable fact: President Obama did not keep his promise to fix the economy, too many Americans are struggling, and we are most certainly not better off.
Mitt Romney is the only candidate in this race with a proven record of success and a five-step plan to fix the economy:
1. We will achieve North American energy independence by by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
2. We will give our fellow citizens the skills and education they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow.
3. We will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
4. To assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
5. We will champion small businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
Mitt Romney’s plan will create 12 million new jobs and a stronger middle class. More of President Obama’s tax-and-spend agenda will only produce more disappointments. If we want a new direction, we need a new president.