…Romney needs to go after voters at the margin and here is how he does it:
1. CAFE standards will increase costs for the domestic auto industry by $85 billion dollars
2. Thousands of jobs will be lost – affecting the economy.
3. Increased costs for compliance leaves less money for health benefits, retirement plans, for those who keep their jobs.
4. Price of cars goes up by a couple / few thousand dollars – disproportionally affecting the middle class (double whammy)
5. Safety declines – Fatality rates increase significantly b/c lighter vehicles…
6. Continue his emphasis on investing in R&D to find creative solutions for cleaner energy along with making domestic manufacturers more competitive.
7. Use the issue as another demonstration of how embedded McCain is to the Washington establishment to the detriment of the citizens of Michigan and SC. The state of Michigan deserves a candidate who will go to Washington and not just negotiate around the edges of a fundamentally flawed policy (immigration, anyone?) that punish the middle class in the state.
8. Emphasize that this is their last chance to act because if McCain gets the nomination, the only choice MI voters will have is between CAFE standards of 35 mpg or 50 mpg.
All of these messages target the blue collar union democrats in Michigan and manufacturing workers in South Carolina, who are more averse to government mandates…