By RICHARD GRENELL
The Obama campaign has spent millions of dollars over the last six months trying to define Mitt Romney as a radical far right politician. The presidential debates imploded that false narrative when millions of Americans saw Gov. Romney as thoughtful, judicious and almost singularly focused on fixing America’s struggling economy during the 90-minute live format. The months of scripted and gross caricatures attacking Mitt from the Obama campaign seemed silly when Americans were able to see an unedited and real Romney.
Surprisingly, it was the 2012 presidential campaign of Barack Obama that has focused on contentious social issues at a time when the American electorate is demanding the federal government clean up its budget and start living within its means. The Obama campaign, however, ignored the voters’ will. They didn’t learn the lesson of the 2010 midterm elections when voters called for more conservative fiscal policies. Instead, the Obama team tried to launch class warfare, gender warfare, race warfare and anything else that might get the media talking about issues unrelated to the dismal U.S. economy. History will show that while the Obama campaign tried to use wedge issues to win re-election, the Romney campaign did not use divisive social issues to respond to their attacks. Instead, Romney stayed focused on the economy. Despite what the Human Rights Campaign and the Obama team may say, Gov. Romney didn’t use the issues of gay marriage or abortion in this year’s presidential campaign.
Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate’s every position. I can support Gov. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama’s personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his national security and economic policies that have given the U.S. its first ever downgraded credit rating and weakened international standing. It’s puzzling why the gay left can’t bring itself to hold President Obama accountable for demanding money and votes from the gay community but not delivering on that support. We all know that Obama, like many politicians, will be forced to make change when his supporters demand it. Republican activists are demanding change from their leaders while gay Democrats are not. Republicans realize we have work to do; Democrats think their work is done. The near silence from the gay left and their media allies when President Obama committed on MTV to NOT put forward gay marriage legislation in his second term was a sign that the Democratic Party takes gay voters for granted.
Millions of American voters will evaluate both candidates’ policies in total and come to the same conclusion I have: President Obama doesn’t deserve to be re-elected and Gov. Romney does. Voters should look closely at President Obama’s domestic and foreign policy failures before making their decision. Obama’s secret whispers to then-Russian President Medvedev for more flexibility on missile defense, his snubbing of Israel and other allies, the developing crisis in Syria he has ignored and his lack of a coherent Mexico policy are but a few reasons to not support the president. One needs to look no further than the brutal regimes of Ahmadinejad, Assad, al-Bashir and Kim to see that under Obama the U.S. has turned its back on too many that seek a better way of life. Allies like Turkey, India and Brazil openly ignore the U.S. while Obama looks to reward Russia with more concessions. And the recent Libya debacle on 9/11 only proves the president hasn’t been willing to make the hard and sometimes unpopular choices to ensure that America leads from the front. Sadly, under Obama, we’ve responded to our enemies and ignored our friends.
His domestic record, too, shows a lack of focus and seriousness on the problems we face. The president’s continued deficit spending, his support for nationalized healthcare, his inability to offer an immigration policy and his denigration of capitalism prove he is too politically contrived and weak to deserve a second term. You can win a presidential race on hope but you can’t expect to win re-election on hope.
Americans who agree on the principles of self-reliance, capitalism, unapologetic U.S. global leadership and a government designed to do what the private sector can’t or won’t do should support Gov. Romney. President Obama, conversely, has demonstrated a willingness to abandon the entrepreneurial spirit that made America great while embracing a new era of government-centered decisions.
Richard Grenell served as spokesman for the last four U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations and served briefly as Mitt Romney’s national security spokesman.