Forum

Romney must focus on economy

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Although he’s almost reluctantly accepted by the Republican base, Mitt Romney has emerged from a grueling primary season as a better, more defined candidate for President of the United States. Now that Romney is poised to run against President Barack Obama on Nov. 6, what must he do to win?

First off, Romney needs to define himself as a clear contrast to Obama — in means, not ends. Obama is incredibly popular because he can articulate his goals well and sell them to the populace, but he tends to achieve those goals in the absolute worst ways possible.

If Obama says the capital gains tax rate is too low, then Romney should raise that rate to 20 percent, but lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.

Romney should also eliminate the loopholes that allow General Electric to pay less than 5 percent of its income in taxes while less powerful companies pay close to the full 35 percent rate.

If healthcare reform is needed, Romneycare (which Romney himself has not renounced) should be embraced as a state solution to a state problem in order to get the federal government out of state efforts to solve their own healthcare problems.

Secondly, Romney needs to demonstrate exactly how these pro-freedom means will better achieve the ends that the American people want, such as economic security and lower unemployment. Romney’s strengths are that he comes from a business background and can solve the economic issues that have been plaguing the nation.

Instead of flinging personal attacks back and forth, Romney should stick to the issues and Obama’s record, and demonstrate why he is the best candidate to get the economy on track.

Third, Romney should pledge to not touch any social issues. This election isn’t about abortion and it’s not about gay marriage; it’s about the economy. That is Romney’s main appeal.

He’s the CEO who can get U.S.A. Corp. out of Chapter 11 and into the prosperity that Americans used to enjoy. If Romney does this, he’ll win over moderate voters who don’t like traditional Republican views on social issues, but desperately want a better economy.

Lastly, Romney needs to pick a solid running mate and commit himself to making tough choices now to prevent tougher choices later.

Social Security is going to run out of money 33 years from now. The Bush tax cuts and Obama’s payroll tax cut are set to expire on the same day; Medicare and Medicaid are driving up the deficit tremendously.

There are people in the GOP who are working to tackle these issues in ways that resonate with conservatives and moderates. These are also some of the people that the GOP base wanted to be their nominee in the first place, people Romney has been hanging out with recently, notably Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. These people can help Romney define his platform and win in 2012.

Romney isn’t an empty candidate. He’s emerged for the better from a grueling primary season and, if he plays his cards right, can sit in the Oval Office in 2013.