The Right Politics

The GOP’s presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney stormed President Barack Obama’s home state on Tuesday and did some serious damage to the President. On the one hand, he blasted Obama for the Obama administration’s disastrous alterations on welfare reform during the Obama presidency. On the other hand, Romney continued to trounce Obama’s fundraising abilities by raising $2 million right in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

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As far as the fundraising is concerned, there seems to be no stopping Romney. He has found great support and lots of money to help him accomplish his goal of conquering the White House. For the past three months, Romney has raised some serious money which has dwarfed the former incredible amounts of cash raised by Obama. Last month alone, Romney raised $26 million more than Obama by raising $101 million to Obama’s $75 million.

While there is no guarantee that the candidate with the biggest bank account will win, that is exactly how many elections have turned out in the past – simply because the candidate with the most money has a much better opportunity of getting his message out to the public as they want it told.

While in Elk Grove Village, a northwestern suburb of Chicago, Mitt Romney spoke at a manufacturing plant – ACME Industries – where the owner is a huge Romney supporter. Even though Romney is losing in the Illinois polls to Obama by double-digits – which is not surprising since Illinois is Obama’s home state – Romney wisely chose the Illinois manufacturing plant to criticize Obama on a topic that has been of major concern to conservatives as well as many non-conservatives throughout the country.

Striking a chord with the middle class voters, Romney spoke vehemently about welfare reform which, says the Republican candidate, was successfully addressed during President Bill Clinton’s presidency through bipartisan efforts. While Romney praises Clinton – somewhat of an alleged idol of President Obama’s – he severely criticizes Obama for undoing the good Clinton did on welfare reform in the 1990s.

Romney makes the very appropriate analysis that Clinton’s welfare reform put “work in welfare”, while Obama’s alterations as commander-in-chief have taken “work” out.

According to Romney, Obama has taken away a number of work requirements from the federal welfare regulations. He was speaking in part, of course, of Obama’s executive action last month which changes the requirement for states to get federal welfare funds. Republicans believe that Obama’s executive measure makes it easier for non-working people get a free government check. Furthermore, Romney promised to “put work back in welfare”.

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This allegation by Romney is strong. Not only does it criticize one of Obama’s and the Democratic Party’s self-proclaimed achievements, but it helps divide the much-respected former President and the less-respected current President. Romney’s analysis also helps explain the rumored “divide” between President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Many people say that behind the scenes, Bill Clinton doesn’t care for Obama at all. Yet, for the Democratic Party’s sake, Clinton has agreed to campaign for Obama and even introduce the President at the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in September.

All in all, Romney had a great day on Obama’s home turf yesterday. He increased his fundraising totals tremendously and delivered a message that resonates with working middle class Americans.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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