Recent polling that shows the presidential election “essentially tied” is good news for Mitt Romney, who has been subjected to three months of punishing television ads by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove writes in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal
Rove argues that the television assault has drained Obama’s funding, that undecided voters tend to “break late for the challenger,” and Romney has raised his game.
“After Mr. Obama declared on July 13 that ‘If you've got a business, you didn't build that,’ Mr. Romney went on offense, saying the following Tuesday in Pennsylvania that the notion entrepreneurs didn't build their businesses was ‘insulting,’” Rove wrote.
"Wednesday in Ohio, Mr. Romney attacked Mr. Obama for not having met with his Jobs Council for six months. Thursday in Massachusetts, Mr. Romney belittled the White House's explanation that the president had failed to do so because he ‘has a lot on his plate.’ The following Tuesday in Nevada before the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Obama over cuts in defense and veterans care.”
Rove added that each attack was precisely timed to dominate the day’s coverage and last week Romney began to lay out a “crisper, shorter economic agenda” to supplant last year’s “unwieldy 59-point plan for economic jobs and growth.”
“His ‘Plan for a Stronger Middle Class’ is built around five priorities: promoting more domestic energy, cultivating skills for economic success, making trade work for America, cutting the deficit, and championing small business (including tax and regulatory reform and the repeal of Obamacare),” Rove wrote. “It also compares the candidates' records in office. Jobs, home values, and family income rose—while budget deficits and unemployment declined—in Massachusetts under Mr. Romney, whereas all these measures are in the wrong direction under Mr. Obama.”
Rove wrote that at the same time Romney is getting tougher in his response to Democratic attacks he was also running more positive ads.
“The election will not be won just by highlighting Mr. Obama's failures, a job better left (mostly) to outside groups,” he wrote. “Because it can put the candidate on camera, the Romney campaign is better positioned to reassure voters that he has a plan to create jobs, reduce spending, and make America more prosperous. This is vital, since both sides have pushed up their opponent's negative ratings to the high-40s.”
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