This new ad from the Romney campaign is perhaps the best one it has produced yet on the economy:
Here’s my question: Is the Obama campaign doing a good enough job in rebutting the core argument that appears to be helping Romney surge? Has the Obama team been direct enough in taking on on Romney’s claim that he understands how bad things are for the middle class and that he’s got a plan to make things better? According to Dem pollster Stan Greenberg’s research, the framing Romney uses above has succeeded in speaking to the economic pain being endured by one key demographic — unmarried women, who are crucial to Obama’s coalition.
I’d like to see the Obama campaign argue more forcefully that Romney is selling people a bill of goods, and that it’s a bill of goods that has been peddled to the American people before. Yes, Obama sometimes says that what Romney is offering is “snake oil,” and that we can’t afford to go back to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
But I wonder if the Obama team could be a bit more direct in anticipating Romney’s argument and preparing voters to hear it before rebutting it — and in referencing Obama’s GOP predecessor, too. For instance: You’ve probably heard my opponent tell you that things are really bad, and that he’s got a plan to make things a whole lot better. Well, guess what — we still have a lot more work to do. But know this: When he tells you that his ideas will improve your lives, he’s selling you a bill of goods. Remember the last time a Republican president told you that cutting taxes on the rich and rolling back government would magically produce growth and shared prosperity? All we got was deficits as far as the eye can see. Why would you buy what he’s selling this time around? We are going in the right direction. Let's not change course now — it could stall or reverse the progress we’re making.
As Greenberg notes, Obama also has to be clearer about what he will do in his second term to improve people’s lives, while drawing a more passionate contrast between Obama’s “we’re all in this together” and Romney’s “you’re on your own” values.
People want to be leveled with about the economy. They are open to the argument that we are recovering ever so slowly and that fixing it will not be easy. With memories of the Bush years still fresh, they may be open to the argument that Romney is selling them a bill of goods.
Readers, you tell me: How is the pushback out there in the states? What are you seeing?