What Went Wrong?
November 15, 2012 by Wayne Allyn Root
Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. This commentary is about what went wrong with Mitt Romney — and my prediction.
I predicted Romney would win big. What went wrong? I’ve been asked nonstop since Election Day, “Was your prediction based on hope or bias?”
My prediction was based on a combination of scientific evidence and common sense.
First, it was based on common sense that no President could possibly be re-elected with the worst economy of our lifetimes, with an economy that has produced more months above 8 percent unemployment (43 months) than produced by all the Presidents between Harry Truman and George W. Bush combined (39 months). People just don’t vote for the guy that brings you misery, malaise, foreclosures and bankruptcies, record unemployment, and inflation at the gas pump and grocery store. This election should have been, 100 out of 100 times, a repeat of Ronald Reagan’s landslide over Jimmy Carter.
Secondly, my prediction was based on common sense that turnout, enthusiasm and the makeup of the electorate would be far different than 2008. Obama’s coalition of single women, minorities and young people were the groups most hurt by his economy. They are the ones without jobs. They are the ones suffering: 14.3 percent black unemployment, 53 percent under-employment for college grads. Logic dictated these groups would not come out in record numbers again.
No one is such a glutton for punishment he’d return and ask for a second helping of misery, malaise and despair, right?
Well, I was wrong. The 2012 electorate looked almost identical to 2008. Obama’s supporters didn’t just come for a second helping of misery; they came out enthusiastically and cheered for more misery.
Lastly, my prediction was based on science. The University of Colorado’s predictive model had never failed. It worked to perfection in the Presidential elections of 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. It predicted a Romney landslide based on scientific facts and historical precedent.
This combination of science and common sense would tell you that in this economy, no President could be re-elected — unless Obama is more an American idol and messiah than a politician and his followers ignore logic, facts and the misery they are experiencing.
Unless we have reached the tipping point that Thomas Jefferson warned about, where a majority now gets checks from government and realizes they can vote for the guy who promises to keep the checks coming.
Obama’s re-election proves that bribery as a campaign tactic is validated. Promise enough free stuff and you win votes, even if the end result is no jobs, no hope and a lifetime dependent on government. You wouldn’t believe this could be true. Not in America. That’s why my prediction went wrong.
Why else did Romney lose? Romney did plenty of his own damage.
Romney picked the wrong Vice President. The GOP has to reach out to women and Latinos. In May, I predicted a Romney landslide if he picked Marco Rubio as his running mate. If Romney picked Rubio, he would have locked down Florida and made deep inroads with Latino voters. With an electorate divided almost exactly 50/50, the Latino vote is the missing link for the GOP. Attract even 5 percent more of the Latino vote and you win. Attract 10 percent more and you win in a landslide.
Paul Ryan added nothing. He reinforced the image of the GOP as an elite club of rich white men. In a diverse country, this choice said “diversity is unimportant.”
Worst of all, Ryan’s views on abortion reinforced that the GOP wanted to take away women’s sexual freedom and rights. Ryan supports no exceptions for abortion, including rape, incest or a women’s life in danger. Men and conservatives didn’t notice. But Obama’s campaign team made sure women noticed. Millions of female voters ignored the awful economy and record unemployment and voted for Obama based on women’s rights.
How does the GOP solve that problem? Simple. The next time any GOP candidate mentions abortion and rape in the same sentence, gag him, hog-tie him and put him in the basement until the election is over.
The real answer is to run candidates who are fiscally conservative and principled, but socially moderate and modern. The GOP needs candidates who say “Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land. I will uphold it, even though my personal views are pro-life. And I will always support exceptions for rape, incest and when a mother’s life is in danger. Period.” The issue is off the table forever. What’s left? The economy and jobs, winning issues for the GOP.
Finally, politics is played just like a football game. What matters is how you start, how you finish, your ground game and your level of aggressiveness.
Romney started poorly, allowing Obama’s television blitz to define him as a greedy, mean-spirited robber baron. Romney ended poorly, spending all his money on television ads instead of a “ground game” — i.e., a massive get-out-every-last-vote effort (like Obama’s). In between, Romney was not aggressive enough on the two defining issues of the campaign.
The first was the auto bailout. Romney lost the Midwest because of this issue. Romney should have taken the offensive with this argument: “President Obama tells us that he ‘saved’ the auto industry. It was his one and only accomplishment, so he repeats it 100 times a day. The reality is that he merely stole $25 billion from taxpayers to protect the pensions of auto union members, who contributed tens of millions of dollars to his election. Now taxpayers owe that $25 billion plus interest – and you don’t even get a car! Obama also allowed private sector autoworkers to lose their pensions because they didn’t contribute to him. This is all immoral, if not criminal.”
That argument would have won the Presidency.
Then there’s Obama’s Libya embassy scandal. Romney played it safe in the final debate and never took the offensive on the issue of Benghazi. Americans never quite understood. But they would have understood one image: “Mr. President, you denied them the security they asked for, watched them die in real time, refused to send a rescue team and then covered it all up by blaming a YouTube video. You left four Americans to die on the battlefield.” Game, set, match.
If Romney had been aggressive and not played it safe, would we be talking about President Romney and celebrating my brilliant prediction? We’ll never know. But if Romney had picked Rubio as his VP, and GOP Senate candidates Todd Akins and Richard Mourdock had never tried to tackle abortion and rape, I have no doubt my prediction would have been on the money.
But it wasn’t to be. And now we’ve got Obama as President for four more years, which means we better get busy defending our country. It’s going to be a busy four years, and I’m not going away. As a matter of fact, I’m stepping up to lead the fight. I hope you’ll join me. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. See you right back here next week. Same time, same place.