Accepting the nomination as the Republican Party challenger to incumbent Barack Obama in the November presidential election, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney laid into his rival’s policy record and in the process fudged some facts on Mr. Obama’s taxation of the American middle class.
Speaking at the culmination of the four-day Republican National Convention here in Florida Mr. Romney opened what was supposed to be a signature speech saying, “Mr. Chairman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the U.S.” Yet he raised eyebrows when he said later, “Let me make this very clear— unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget has however argued that the “average before-tax income for all households fell 12 per cent from 2007 to 2009 in real (inflation-adjusted) terms” and it is widely recognised that under the “Making Work Pay” $116 billion in tax-cuts was doled out to 95 per cent of working families. In fact this has quite likely added ammunition to the charges that the President has failed to reign in expansion of the federal deficit.
Nevertheless Mr. Romney may have been trying to reach undecided voters when he said before a packed floor of party delegates at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, “I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept.”
Numerous media commentators described his speech as “solid,” adding that even if it wasn’t an example of great oratory it portrayed Mr. Romney as a man “ready to go to work” on the economy. Yet Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida and a prior speaker on Thursday evening, may have been reflecting some concern about a lack of panache in the proceedings when he said after Mr. Romney’s speech that he was even more proud to be American than he was Republican.
With Mr. Romney’s speech capping off the convention in Tampa, attention will now shift to Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Democratic National Convention will be in full swing next week.