This, from his CPAC speech (as prepared), gets to the heart of why Romney may be a very attractive general-election candidate:
If I decide to run for President, it won’t take me two years to wake up to the job crisis threatening America. And I won’t be asking Tim Geithner how the economy works—or Larry Summers how to start a business.
Fifteen million Americans are out of work. And millions and millions more can’t find the good paying jobs they long for and deserve. You’ve seen the heartbreaking photos and videos of the jobs fairs around the country, where thousands show up to stand in line all day just to have a chance to compete for a few job openings that probably aren’t as good as the job they held two years ago. These job fairs and unemployment lines are President Obama’s Hoovervilles.
Make no mistake. This is a moral tragedy—a moral tragedy of epic proportion. Unemployment is not just a statistic. Fifteen million unemployed is not just a number. Unemployment means kids can’t go to college; that marriages break up under the financial strain; that young people can’t find work and start their lives; and men and women in their 50s, in the prime of their lives, fear they will never find a job again.
And more — this perhaps could be seen as more for a primary- than a general-election audience, but it’s true all the same:
Liberals should be ashamed that they and their policies have failed these good and decent Americans!
The President is trying to show that he finally gets it—that he really isn’t a liberal after all. But his idea of conservative economic policy is to invite some corporate CEO’s to the White House for an evening of table-talk.
I’m sorry Mr. President, but that’s not a policy, it’s a dinner party.
We’ve seen the failure of liberal answers before. Liberal welfare policies condemned generations to dependency and poverty. Liberal education policies fail our children today, because they put pensions and privilege for union bosses above the reading scores of our kids. Liberal social policies have failed to protect the unborn. And now, the hollow promises of liberal economic policies have failed to provide millions of Americans with the dignity of work.