Campaign season: Open!

2012-04-04 19:25
On Tuesday Democrat US President Barack Obama launched into Republicans in his most clear and aimed attack yet, calling out his most likely rival, Mitt Romney, by name, and fighting directly against a Republican budget proposal.

The parties' election strategies have been laid out clearly. Obama’s speech yesterday made it clear that Democrats are going to attempt to tie Republicans to an ideology that frames them as elite.

Obama used his speech yesterday to lambast the Republican budget as an idea that would cull government spending, unfairly hurting poor people to sort out the country’s pretty dire finances, instead of obtaining more funds from those earning more.

Obama said that the Republican budget would make immense cuts, and listed some of them: "The year after next, nearly 10 million college students would see their financial aid cut by an average of more than $1 000 each. 

"There would be 1 600 fewer medical grants, research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and Aids… Investments in clean energy technologies that are helping us reduce our dependence on foreign oil would be cut by nearly a fifth."

He followed this up with describing cuts in education assistance, food aid for poor families, and a reduction in funds to fight crime and deal with illegal immigration.

Republicans, on the other hand, are going to focus on Obama’s record, while framing the president as a big-government socialist who doesn’t really understand Americans.

Romney said during his victory speech after three successful primary results on Wednesday, "He [Obama] has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new government-centred society. I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of a opportunity society led by free people and free enterprises."

While Obama has, until Tuesday, remained out of the fray, delegating Vice-President Joe Biden to flay the opposition, his speech on Tuesday was the equivalent of firing the starting-gun.

Obama has certainly been laying out his philosophies this year, but this was the first assault directly on Mitt Romney. Obama said during his speech, "One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this [budget] from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency."

Both men are competing for independent and moderate voters, though. Romney, who has been forced to use rhetoric further to the right than he would have liked due to the Republican primary campaign, began looking at the general election.

He didn’t mention his rivals once during his post-primary speech Tuesday and slipped this interesting little line into his speech, "Now I am not naive enough to believe that free enterprise is a solution to all of our problems." This is a clear, if subtle, appeal to moderate and independent American voters who have been lost in the right-wing slanging match of his party's nomination race so far.

Obama made the same pitch from the other side of the political arena: "I believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history… But I also share the belief of our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln: a belief that, through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves."

So while campaign season was opened some time ago, we’re getting right into the slugfest, which should be far more interesting.

I therefore declare the race to the 2012 general election open!
Read more on:    barack obama  |  simon williamson  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012

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