Like many Americans, I tuned-in to the RNC Convention starting on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, and was astonished at not only the myriad of lies and misleading statements by the speakers including Romney and Ryan, but the complete lack of policy proposals. I just couldn’t figure out how a Romney President would be a better option than moving forward with President Obama. A Gallup Poll conducted today weighed in with a new survey showing the convention had only a “minimal impact” on the Romney-Ryan quest for the presidency. In interviews conducted over the three days since the close of the Republican convention, Gallup found roughly the same number of Americans saying the convention made them more likely to support Republican nominee Mitt Romney (40 percent) as saying it made them less likely to support him (38 percent). Based on the Gallup Poll results, many of the viewers were apparently not very impressed overall with the Convention. I wonder if the lies impacted the results. Think Progress published nine (9) serious omissions from Romney’s speech:
- No mention of Financial Reform: Even as millions of Americans struggle with the effects of the Great Recession caused by Wall Street malfeasance and scores of others continue to deal with the fallout of the foreclosure fraud scandal, Romney has said that he will repeal the 2010 Dodd Frank financial reform law, but has yet to detail what, if anything, he would put in its place.
- No mention of Climate Change: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” Romney said to loud laughter. It’s too bad that he and most of the GOP delegates don’t believe in the very real threat of global warming.
- No mention of Immigration: “We are a nation of immigrants,” Romney said, without explaining how he would help the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Romney has not said if he would rescind Obama’s temporary directive permitting young undocumented immigrants to work in the country, though his advisers have suggested that he would.
- No mention of Romneycare: The convention speakers didn’t tackle Romney’s greatest accomplishment as governor, the enactment of universal health care coverage in Massachusetts. Romney promised to repeal Obamacare, but did not say what he would replace it with.
- No mention of Afghanistan or Syria: Romney did not mention how he planned to address the nation’s largest ongoing wars or one of the most important ongoing humanitarian crises on Earth. This may be because the Romney campaign has been unable to meaningfully distinguish its policies from those of the Obama administration on either of these crucial issues.
- No mention of Social Security: Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has proposed Social Security privatization schemes that would have cost retirees dearly if they had been in place during the financial crisis.
- No mention of Veterans: Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Romney has ignored veterans’ issues. After he spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars last month, veteran advocates said they were “still waiting for Romney to spell out how he would do better than his opponent.” “We haven’t heard any specific plans yet from Governor Romney or his campaign,” said Bob Wallace, executive director at the Washington office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, echoing the sentiment of many advocates.”
- Only 1 mention of Medicare: Romney criticized Obama for cutting $716 billion from Medicare — reductions that are also included in Paul Ryan’s budget. But he did not explain his own controversial reforms or mention that his “premium support” plan would force seniors to spend significantly more for health care.
- Only 1 mention of Housing: Romney did say, “when the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss” — but that’s all. The Federal Reserve bank of New York anticipates that millions of Americans will face foreclosure this year and next, but Romney has yet to release a housing plan, beyond telling homeowners in foreclosure-battered Las Vegas “don’t try and stop the foreclosure process,” just “let it run its course and hit the bottom.”
When Romney picked Paul Ryan as his vice presidential he promised to provide detail proposals. The RNC Convention would have been the ideal time for Romney to fully explain his plan for moving the country further.
Even though the RNC Convention fell far short on substance, it did have its moments highlighted by their mystery speaker, Clint Eastwood. In a bizarre encounter with an empty chair, Eastwood argued with a supposedly seated Obama that not only included off-color jokes but demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the Office of the President. Of course, the blame game among Romney’s top advisers started. “Not me,” one senior adviser said when asked who was responsible for Eastwood’s speech. Some aides called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.” As Jamelle Bouie, a Writing Fellow for The American Prospect magazine tweeted, “This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.” I agree wholeheartedly with Jamelle who summed up the RNC Convention. When you consider that the Romney-Ryan Campaign has continued to engage in Obama bashing without articulating to the American people specific economic and national security policies, I believe that reasonable people would conclude that the Republican Party has warped principles.