Obama’s Desperate Attempts to Change the Argument Aren’t Working
. . . And neither are a lot of Americans
When you are losing the political argument, change the subject. That is the total summation of Obama’s presidential campaign. When you can’t defend a dismal record, vilify your opponent with character assassination. Pound the voters with class warfare.
It won’t work.
Stuck with a failing economy and no hope for improvement before November, the Obama campaign spent weeks and millions in campaign ads painting Mitt Romney as a greedy and out of touch businessman, a corporate raider who destroyed companies and ruined the lives of working men and women.
The target was Bain Capital, Romney’s private equity firm he left more than a decade ago. The Obama attacks hit rock bottom with the ad that blamed Romney for the death of a steelworker’s wife. The backlash was swift and harsh. Obama supporters ran for cover.
Now it is Romney’s tax returns. The Obama campaign hauled out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to charge that Romney may not have paid taxes in the last ten years. It fell flat and defied credulity for even the most partisan Obama supporters. Everyone knows that Romney pays plenty of taxes and makes generous contributions to charity.
Obama’s problem is twofold – a record he can’t defend and campaign issues that don’t resonate with voters. Both flaws will sink him.
It is impossible for an incumbent president to avoid a record of over 8 percent unemployment for 42 months, budget deficits over $1 trillion, economic growth at about 2 percent and a cumulative national debt of about $16 trillion.
What is more, Obama’s number one campaign issue – class warfare – is a loser. His constant refrain is the need for those who earn the most to pay more in taxes, all in the name of “fairness” and the effort to fund his big government programs.
The columnist Charles Krauthammer points out that this Obama big idea is a joke. Obama is advocating a 4.6 percent increase in the marginal tax rate for 2 percent of the population. That would reduce the deficit from $1.20 trillion to $1.12 trillion. Big deal.
Voters don’t even care. A recent Gallup Poll ranked twelve issues based on which ones should get priority from the next president. Creating good jobs was rated number one by 92 percent of respondents. Increasing taxes on wealthy Americans ranked dead last with 49 percent support.
The pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that 66 percent of voters believe that cutting spending is the best thing Washington can do to help the economy. This is poison for the Obama campaign, so dependent on government spending that its whole enterprise collapses without higher taxes and spending to support more and more government programs.
President Obama can try every diversion in his campaign playbook, but he cannot divert the voters from a failing economy. Character assassination will not work. Class warfare will not work. He is stuck with the record he has written since inauguration day in 2009.