US economy key to White House job

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Worthington, Ohio 25 October 2012 Mitt Romney must project a presidential image in the last week of campaigning

It wasn't exactly the "major" economic speech trailed by the campaign, but Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's speech in Iowa was important.

His demeanour is serious and sober, but the strategy is almost schoolboy cheek. Remember 2008 - hope and change? Mitt Romney says he is now the candidate of change, big change, while President Barack Obama stands for the status quo.

Some people will vote for him because he promises a new vision. Like the man in the "coal=jobs" baseball cap and bright red Romney-Ryan T-shirt. He was choked with emotion.

We spoke as he was making his way out of a rally for Mr Romney in the state of Ohio, a bright-eyed toddler in one arm, a slightly older child holding his free hand.

"It's devastating to us," he says. "Without a change in the United States, small businesses over here, people working every day to feed their families." His voice breaks and he is close to tears.

"Things are really bad, very bad here. We need a change now, and Mitt Romney is the man to do it. We cannot afford four more years of this."

Given his cap, I suspect he is a miner or construction worker. I couldn't be more wrong. He owned a hairdressing salon and had to lay off 22 stylists.

The Romney campaign will be hoping there are millions as distressed and as passionate as him.

But Friday's better-than-expected (GDP) figures won't help Mr Romney's campaign much - although they call it "discouraging news".

Two percent is not spectacular, but it is going in the right direction. But most people will vote on how they feel the economy is, not what some statistics point towards.

By now, people know what they think of the state of the economy. It is what - or who - could make it better. That is the question.

It is why, in these final days of campaigning, Mr Romney is attempting to make a much more positive case.

I doubt there will be much new in today's "major" economic speech - indeed it would be slightly incoherent if he did produce new ideas at this stage.

But his message is that he is a man with a plan, ready to take on the big job. One of his strategists told me he is not by nature a campaigner, but now as the big day grows closer he is much more focused on thinking about how he would do the job.

This is spin, of course, as are reports of the work he is doing with a team preparing for power (1 min 40 sec in).

But expect to hear Mr Romney sounding much more presidential in the final full week of campaigning.

Mark Mardell, North America editor Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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US Presidential Election 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    31. Romney is a fake candidate on a fake platform in a fake country
    There are plenty fake people who will vote for that flake

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Vice President - Biden said it best. Romney is indeed, a job creator. If we are talking about him creating jobs in China,Mexico, India & many of low-wage countries where Romney's Bain Capital sent American jobs to boost his & shareholders' profits.If you want a vibrant middle-class, re-elcect Obama.But if you want a handful extremely rich like Romney & the rest of us just getting by, vote Romney

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    @29 Reps believe that jobs are created when govt intervenes less rather than more. Romney would cut taxes and govt regulations to encourage job growth ie get the govt out of the way of business so it can create more jobs

    @30 I am no big Romney fan but no way is Obama "honest". His lies about the recent events in Libya are despicable. I'll be voting Libertarian. Pro-pot & pro-spending cuts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    The real question today isn't who the next president will be.

    The question is whether the average American voter is dumb enough to buy the Magic Elixir that Romney is selling.

    Anyone with any common sense at all realizes that each one of us -- rich, poor, young, old -- is going to have to pay his share of the national bill. No magic -- for anyone.

    But that said: never forget George Bush.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    29 That's the problem with an honest candidate like Obama and dishonest Congress, GOP, Tea Party and followers lying, shucking and jiving. GOP propaganda is shallow but hits the right notes with white american prejudice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Romney & his supporters continually say govt don't create jobs, yet Romney is asking America to elect him president, promising to create 12 millions jobs in 4 yrs. Sadly,Republicans in Congress have opposed anything & everything Obama while Romney & his supporters wish the economy don't improve, so they can blame it on Obama.Obama has been blamed for everything, but climate change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    If only the Congress and the House Reps had not been corrupted by corporations to favor profits over the protections of the people from corporate greed
    That is exactly what caused the Great Recession and deregulation caused the rise of the out of control gambling by banks and mortgage companies
    Thank goodness we now have the Consumer Protection Agency to help protect the people from the corruption

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Today's Economic growth report is a sign of postive trend but not a big issue to boast about specially after the 2008 Election. The Media may give it un warranted praise but Debt is still out shining GDP & the coming Election should be guided to put the right person that will bring drastic change to save the Nation with out being influenced by small change

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    More millionaires were created in the US in Gt Depression than any other time in history. As that sort of wealth transfer suggests inequality growth it will be interesting to see what sort of inequality growth occurs in the US Gt Recession. All the signs are inequality is in growth. A politician promoting less tax for the wealthy in a inequality growth period is an odd solution to economic stress

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    @21. Scott0962
    10 MIS AGO

    In part that is true, but equally you have to agree that total deregulation didn't happen under Clinton but 'W'.
    The biggest issue with the Loans was that the investors in those loans could not see what they were buying ( most didn't want to know either) .
    In addition Bush took the Deficit through the roof (I know it shows under Obama and he also added to it)

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    The fact is the Republican and Bush gave us this mess. Obama spends 4 years to clean it up and the economy is going at the right direction. I still don't understand why would anyone want to gamble again and vote for Romney?

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    I think that I have the GOP platform figured out.

    From "cutting red tape"(gutting regulations) to "closing loopholes"(poor enforcement of remaining laws), it appears that Romney & Ryan want to compete with China and India by making us just like least economically.

    If Romney wins, get ready for a race to the bottom!

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    21 And the Housing Bubble Popping in 2006 left Bush chump stumped no
    If only he had a brain,

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    re #7.copperpot: "Wasn't it the Bush administration and Wall St. that got us into this mess?"

    Partly. Under Clinton qualifications for Federally insured mortgages were changed so more lower income people could buy homes, that and widespread fraud to inflate the size of loans creating a house of cards in the mortgage industry that collapsed on Bush's watch.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    ref #3 It's hard for anyone with a brain to trust Obama to work with anyone he has shown a lack of respect to anyone who disagrees with him. And considering he was the most unqualified person to ever be elected that shows incredible huburis.
    ref #19 It wold be suicide to relect Obama

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Obama for re-election, anything else is pure suicide, not just for America but the world at large.

    What planet have you been on for the last 15 years?
    You can't compare Blair & Obama, and as for conviction, Obama has more of it than the false prophet wannabe president, Romney.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Mr Mardell, you might as well join the Romney campaign for all I know! Forget the national polls. It's the swing states stupid! That's where this election will be won and lost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    "Imagine you are DavidinEU...Be thankful."

    I am indeed an EU-er, but currently living in the US.

    Both are in a bad way but the US has farther to fall.

    Also, EE citizens at least have good social safety nets and medical care. Don't be fooled - even under Obama many Americans cannot afford to fall ill. And many hundreds of beggars line DC's streets, India-style.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Obama is America's Tony Blair, he promised so much in terms of hope and changing things for the better. However just like Blair did to Britain he has left a nasty taste in the mouth. Both sides of the Alantic are crying out for a conviction politician to emerge.


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