October 2, 2022

Economix: Obama vs. Romney, an Early Skirmish



Thoughts on the economic scene.

A recent Twitter exchange between Bill Burton, a former adviser to President Obama who remains close to the White House, and Eric Fehrnstrom, a longtime adviser to Mitt Romney, highlights the different tacks the two 2012 campaigns are taking on issues.

On Monday, Mr. Burton pointed to Mr. Romney’s refusal at times to engage in the deficit debate in Washington, including the Republicans’ recent cut, cap and balance bill:

Things Mitt Romney probably won’t raise at his Wall St fundraiser: cut/cap/balance, gay marriage… what else? http://scr.bi/pWWhI4

Polls suggest that some of the main positions that Congressional Republicans have taken, like favoring a major overhaul of Medicare, may be unpopular with voters. In the 2012 campaign, Mr. Obama will almost certainly try to tie his opponent to some of the less popular positions of the Republican Party. That will especially be true of those positions that the ultimate nominee adopts during the primaries. (For now, White House officials view Mr. Romney as the clear front-runner.)

Republicans will no doubt respond that Mr. Obama is trying to change the topic from the state of the economy. Not long after Mr. Burton’s message, Mr. Fehrnstrom wrote back:

Positive economic news? MT@ billburton716 Things Romney won’t raise at his Wall St fundraiser: cut/cap/balance, gay marriage… what else?

On the whole, I’ve been struck by the similarity between Mr. Romney’s tone so far and Bill Clinton’s tone in the 1992 campaign. Their suggested remedies for the weak economy, of course, are far different.

My column this week has more on the subject.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=ed0caa8cd4e35411418e1fffbddc7ff8

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