Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota — two oft-mentioned potential running mates for Mitt Romney — are on a bus tour for the Romney campaign through Ohio and Pennsylvania, “bracketing” events by President Obama. The pair held a conference call moments ago.
If you listen to his rhetoric and policies, you see a president who is engaged in class warfare, divide and blame rhetoric, because he simply can’t run on his record. He simply can’t ask Americans, “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” We’re moving more towards the ways of Europe, more towards the culture of dependency. There used to be a stigma in terms of relying on government programs. Under this president, they seem to celebrate the growth in the rolls of food stamps, the growth in the number of goverment health care, This is a very important election to get America back on track — to contrast that sense of entitlement, that sense of class warfare, with what Mitt Romney is running on. He’s running on policies and a track record of creating jobs in the private sector, not the public sector. He is reminding the American people that what makes America great is unlimited opportunity. You’re not entitled to equal results, you are entitled to equal opportunity in this great country.
I asked Pawlenty what he thought of recent criticism from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and William Kristol, contending that Governor Romney is missing opportunities in his campaign, content to point to the economic troubles and not making a forceful case for his own vision and policies. Pawlenty responded:
Governor Romney has put out the most detailed set of proposals on the economy and other issues that I think that any candidate at this stage of a presidential campaign in the modern history of the country — including a very detailed policy prescription on the economy. It features things like reductions in corporate tax rates, 20 percent across-the-board income tax cuts for individuals and obviously small businesses, exemptions and elimination of capital gains and interest taxation for middle-income folks, complete overhaul of America’s energy policy, complete overhaul of our health care policy back towards markets instead of back towards government, lightening up on regulations in ways that would stimulate economic growth, and much more. The content is all there, and he’s out there every day advancing that. The content is all there, and he’s out there advancing that in a way that I think has been positive so far.
Obviously, there’s a lot of work in front of us. In terms of the critics, I respect the individuals that you mentioned, but in polls, the marketplace response to Governor Romney has been very good. He’s running against an incumbent president, and depending on the week and the particular poll, he’s at worst tied and maybe even a little ahead by some polls. That doesn’t account for the people who are undecided, and with the down economy, those people may end up breaking against the incumbent. They know they incumbent, and they’re looking for a better alternative.
The state of the race, the state of the campaign Governor Romney is well-positioned to win this race.