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Romney-Ryan Campaign Maintains Emphasis on Fiscal Responsibility

Heights Editor

Published: Monday, October 29, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Last Monday’s debate was no departure from the strategy the Romney-Ryan campaign has employed since Mitt Romney first announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination, as the governor again appealed to the state of the economy and what he calls failed Obama Administration policies.

According to The Washington Post, Romney “pivoted” to the economy in the debate, citing the economy as the basis of American power at home and abroad, and furthermore the most important issue to tackle if America wants to be successful.

His campaign website echoes those same sentiments, stating that Romney is “calling for a fundamental change in Washington’s view of how economic growth and prosperity are achieved, how jobs are created, and how government can support these endeavors. It is at once a deeply conservative return to policies that have served our nation well and a highly ambitious departure from the policies of our current leadership. In short, it is a plan to get America back to work.”

In his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Romney appealed to the “essence” of the American experience as being made of many freedoms, but lastly the freedom for Americans to “build a life” and “build a business with their own hands.”

This life, Romney said, applies to college students looking for jobs or parents who want their children to have a better future.

In that same speech, Romney called on Americans to make a “decision” or a “choice” between the America that President Barack Obama created and the America that he wants to create, one that is dependent on “business” ideals and unapologetic American “success.”

Romney bridged the gap between social concerns and his economic plan by explaining that the presence of “American jobs” will bring social progress, keeping the focus on family and success rather than social issues such as abortion rights, gay rights, and environmental issues.

“In the richest country in the history of the world, this Obama economy has crushed the middle class.

Family income has fallen by $4,000, but health insurance premiums are higher, food prices are higher, utility bills are higher, and gasoline prices have doubled,” he said. “Today, more Americans wake up in poverty than ever before. Nearly one out of six Americans is living in poverty. Look around you. These are not strangers. These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans.”

His appeal to women’s issues, too, revolved around the concepts of business and economy.

“Today, women are more likely than men to start a business,” he said. “They need a president who respects and understands what they do.”

Romney’s focus on fiscal issues is well-placed, according to young Republican voters whose concerns in this election are far from the social concerns that dominated the 2008 election.

“Social issues are far down the priorities list, and I think that’s the trend,” Matt Hoagland, the county leader of a North Carolina group of young Republicans, told The New York Times. “That’s where it needs to go if the Republican Party is going to be successful.”

Zoey Kotzambasis, vice president of the College Republicans at the University of Arizona, who considers herself a conservative but supports both same-sex marriage and abortion rights, echoed Hoagland’s sentiment in the Times, pointing to fiscal concerns as one of the things of utmost importance.

“I would prefer that Mitt Romney leave social issues sort of alone because I do disagree with him on those things,” Kotzambasis said, whose group, like many others, operates mostly independent of any national party oversight. “He keeps saying that the first things he’ll tackle are healthcare and the economy, and I hope he tackles the economy. I’m graduating in a couple years, and it’s pretty dismal where I am.”

In an April speech in Aston, Pa., while he was still on the campaign trail, Romney appealed to that young vote via the economy.

“Young voters have to vote for me,” he said. “If they’re really thinking about what’s in the best interest of the country and what’s in their personal best interest. Because the president’s policies have led to extraordinary statistics … and then the debt amassed that they’re going to have to pay off for the rest of their lives? We’re fighting to make sure that we can reduce the deficits and eliminate this debt overhang, and yet the president continues to amass these huge deficits.”

Romney, in an effort to calm a fear similar to the one that Kotzambasis expressed to the Times, promised to create jobs, an issue of importance to college-aged voters.

“I think young people will understand that ours is the party of opportunity and jobs. And if they want a president that can create good jobs, that can allow them to find a bright and prosperous future for themselves and for their families then I hope they’re going to vote for me,” he said in that same Aston, Pa., speech. “And we’re going to take that message to young people across the country.”

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