It’s simple really.
The Obama campaign—with the help of the mainstream press—seems to have moved away from the one thing that was working against the slippery Mittens and was giving them a comfortable lead in the polls: the guy is a radical conservative who will radically transform the country into something only the Tea Party could love. Period.
They need to stop trying to paint the guy as a flip-flopper—everyone can see that by now—and tie him directly to the Republicans in Congress, particularly the Tea Party contingent, which he has supported in every conceivable way, including picking one of the most extreme VP candidates—and Tea Party favorite—in history.
Here, look at this graph from Gallup, published a month ago:
Look at those low, low, low numbers for Congress. Who could run against that bunch and lose? All Obama has to do to execute the winning strategy is to put the focus on extremists in Congress, including highlighting legislation that has come out of the Tea Party Republican House (as well as some that has come from Senate Republicans, like the radical Blunt amendment, which Romney was against before he had to backtrack), and then tie Romney’s flip-flopping body to that stake and watch him burn.
The President can point to some of the more extreme wackos in Congress—there is a rather large crop from which to choose—and ask the country: Do you want a president who will make these extremists even more powerful? Do you want to see Michele Bachmann and Allen West on your TVs every night, as they wield real power?
The president should say something like this during Tuesday’s debate, which I offer the campaign free of charge:
If you think Todd Akin is nuts, if you think his mind is frozen in Iron Age ignorance, then I’ve got news for you. There are a bunch of Republicans in the House who are as strange as he is. And Paul Ryan—who Mitt Romney chose to be his running mate— is one of them. He voted with Akin on a bill that originally tried to redefine rape, the old definition not quite good enough for these people. Ryan is as far right on the issue of a woman’s right to choose as Todd Akin. He really is that wildly far right. Yet Romney picked him to sit in the White House and help him make decisions, decisions that will affect you and your daughters.
Have you ever heard of Congressman Steve King? He’s an extremist nut from Iowa. Never mind that he doubts I am an American. Never mind that. Among other crazy, extremist things, he has suggested that states should still have the right to stop couples from having access to contraception. Yes, here in 2012 he thinks that. And Congressman King backed up Todd Akin recently and even added that he had never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. Never heard of it.
And you can go on his website and find out that he would force women “requesting” an abortion—even women who were raped—to undergo ultrasounds “and review the life within her.” I’m not making that up. He would use government force to require women to do that. Go there and look for yourself. He’s serious. He’s deadly serious.
And you know what? Mitt Romney endorsed this guy! About this wacky congressman, about this Tea Party nutjob, Romney said, “I want him as my partner in Washington!” Partners. That’s what you are voting for if you vote for Mitt Romney. A partner with extremists in Congress. Make no mistake about it.
In fact, the entire Republican Party has been captured by such people as Steve King. People like him run that party. Just a couple of days after Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, the Republican Party voted to put in its official platform a provision that would prevent women who are raped or who are incest victims from choosing whether to have the rapist’s baby. They would force a woman, perhaps a relative of yours, to bear the child of her attacker. Do you really want to put these people in charge of the government? Huh?
And as for the economy. Things are turning around despite the fact Republicans in Congress all joined together in an effort to sabotage the economic recovery. They have admitted that. That’s not controversial. They got together on the night of my inauguration and plotted how they might keep me from getting this economy repaired and have a second term. I’m not kidding. I’m not making that up. You all need to know how extremist this bunch in Congress is. So extreme as to jeopardize the well-being of the country just so they can get complete control of it.
And as far as entitlement programs go, you all heard what Governor Romney thinks of half the country, you know, when he was standing in front of fat cats in Florida. He thinks people don’t want to take care of themselves. He thinks half of the population wants to be dependent on government, even people who have earned their benefits, even people who worked hard for them and are truly entitled to them. He thinks that. He said that. And you know who else thinks that? Tea Party Republicans in Congress. That’s what the whole Tea Party movement was about, remember? Do you want these folks in charge of the government? Do you want these people, most of whom have never cared all that much for our safety net, deciding the future of Social Security and Medicare? Huh?
And finally, as far as foreign policy and national security goes, we have kept the country safe. We have taken down much of al Qaeda’s leadership, including bin Laden. I got us out of Iraq and I am winding down the war in Afghanistan. But you know what? That’s not good enough for some of these extremists in Congress. That’s not good enough for Governor Romney. They want us to get more involved in Syria. You’ve seen them on television. You’ve seen them say we’ve got to do more. They want to start a war—yes, I said it—they want us to start a war with Iran, before we have even given the punishing sanctions we put in place time to work. That’s what they want and that’s what they will get if you put them in charge.
Governor Romney has surrounded himself with advisers who got us into the mess in Iraq. You want more of that? Some in Congress, even the Governor himself, seem to want us to stay and stay and stay in Afghanistan. You want to keep troops there for another ten years? Huh?
Another adviser to the Romney campaign has called on Congress to authorize war with Iran. That was after the Republican leader in the Senate called for the same thing. I’m not kidding. He wanted a vote on the authorization of force against Iran. The leader of Republicans in the United States Senate called for “a more forceful approach.” More forceful. What does that mean except war? Another Romney adviser, who worked for George W. Bush as U.N. ambassador, is not only itching for a war with Iran, he has suggested that Israel use nuclear weapons! Again, I’m not kidding.
There are people in Congress who would have us in wars all over the place. They want to drastically increase our defense budget, even while giving tax cuts to rich people and cutting aid to the poor here at home. And the only thing stopping them right now is you, you the voter. That’s it. If you elect Mitt Romney, if you put him and Paul Ryan in charge, you are putting the Tea Party in charge of the entire government. And all of them are hell-bent on taking us back to a time when people were begging in the streets. A time when folks didn’t have the health care they needed. They are hell-bent on getting us back into protracted wars in a strange part of the world.
Look. I’m not going to BS you. If you give me another four years, there are some tough choices that have to be made, both here at home and across the sea. We do have to cut spending even more than I have already. We do have to address the long-term entitlement problems. And we do have to consider seriously whether we want to start a war with Iran, should the sanctions in place fail to convince them to stop advancing toward a nuclear weapon. These are hard things. They will require us to make some hard choices.
But I trust you know me. You know how I have conducted myself these past four years. You know how sober-minded I am and how I don’t do things rashly or act without good reason. I don’t have to play Macho Man on the world stage in order to look out for American interests. I don’t have to send young men and women to die to prove how strong our resolve is.
And you have seen the extremism on the other side. You have seen Governor Romney, a man who made his fortune in what a member of his own party called “vulture capitalism,” embrace the most extreme elements of his party and the most extreme policies imaginable. You’ve seen that.
It comes down to this: Who do you trust to do the right thing as America moves forward?