The Tax vs. Penalty Debate Is Distracting Romney

Mitt Romney may not win the presidency between now and the 60-day sprint, but he could well lose it if he doesn't change tactics. He must stop trying to thread the needle as he initially did on the Obamacare tax/penalty debate. Americans don't care about the minutiae. They want to hear whether he will repeal Obamacare and how or if he will replace it.

The Wall Street Journal is right: "The Romney campaign thinks it can play it safe and coast to the White House by saying the economy stinks and it's Mr. Obama's fault."

But this won't work. A quarter of the electorate remains undecided, according to an Associated Press poll. These voters know all about President Obama's handling of the economy. If that was enough to sway their votes, they'd already be in the Romney camp. What they want to hear is a bold vision of the future, one that takes us from where we are now to a better, more prosperous place. The candidate that best articulates this will win in November.

And it can't be done with platitudes.

Last time around, Americans voted for "Hope and Change" without details and are not satisfied with what they got. They won't be fooled again. They are demanding a bold, clear vision for the future—one replete with specifics and unafraid of change. And you don't get to that arguing about taxes vs. penalties.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Report

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published this page in In The News 2012-07-05 17:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy