So, here it is. Romney and Ryan have been chosen as the Republican team and their race of presidential proportions against Democrat Obama-Biden is already dominating American media. And now, with the West becoming buffeted by this storm of political point-scoring and posturing, the race is well on the way.
The tone has been set. Despite the election being four months away, Obama and Romney are already at one another’s throats. Both are swinging and landing punches on the other: multi-millionaire Romney is criticised for his commercial past, linked to preferring outsourced instead of American jobs; in turn, Romney has attacked Obama’s healthcare legislation and his apparent lack of economic stimulation.
Of course, the speculation over Romney’s past will erode away at his support, particularly with the all-important ‘swing’ voters that will decide this election, in states such as Florida. He faces pressure from all sides. Republican Governor Robert Bentley, of Alabama, recently became the latest Republican to add to this pressure, saying:
“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.”
However, Romney has so far evaded such calls to release these tax returns. Trying to draw a line under this speculation, and increase pressure on the president, he called on the President to apologise for what he called “misleading” attacks.
The Obama campaign has also had to defend itself from unrelenting attacks. In a relatively conservative nation, the so-called ‘Obamacare’ legislation is highly divisive. Romney describes such government expenditure on healthcare as “wasted taxpayer dollars,” and his campaign website claims that it has resulted in $500 billion worth of tax increases.
The Romney campaign has also attacked Obama’s economic policy:
“Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for 'solutions' highlighted by higher taxes.”
Not a day goes by without some Twitter trend slurring one of the candidates, or some headline about an accusation by one of them, denied by the other.
Presidential politics has always been a drawn-out battle of point-scoring, slur-campaigns and charisma. But it has hardly ever been so dogged. Obama is pitching himself as the man of the people, painting the elite millionaire Romney as a rich, pro-business, out-of-touch politician that won’t help the American people. Only time will tell which candidate the American people will put their faith in, but one thing is for sure: the election race is sure to be one of the most close and competitive contests yet.