Posted by AzBlieMeanie:
Ed Kilgore at the Political Animal blog flags the same highlight from the Willard "Mittens" Romney interview with Brian Williams of NBC News that all astute political observers caught right away. And Speaking of Bush Administration Leftovers….
So it’s not the best sign for Mitt Romney that when he was directly asked by NBC’s Brian Williams yesterday to distinguish his approach to growth and job creation from W.’s, he sort of ignored it and just read his usual talking points. Here’s Jon Chait’s take on the moment and its significance:
The answer was a mere recapitulation of his plans (“Well, let me describe — actually, there are five things that I believe are necessary to get this economy going … ”). I won’t reprint the entire answer, but Romney did not make the slightest attempt to distinguish his approach from Bush’s. Of course that is because it’s the same thing! Every single idea Romney listed — low taxes, free trade, less regulation, developing energy, etc. — was part of Bush’s program.
Now, the usual Republican answer here, on how their approach will succeed where Bush’s failed, is to shout, spending! Romney promises to cut it. Bush also promised to cut it, but didn’t. I don’t think this really answers the main objection — lower spending may help the long-term budget picture, but the policies Republicans most directly associate with economic growth are taxes, regulation, and energy. And here Romney really is proposing the exact same policies as Bush.
But the surprising thing is that Romney didn’t even have that, or any other handy answer to the question. This is a pretty bad political messaging slip-up, but it also indicates a larger problem: Republicans haven’t really internalized the degree to which Bush’s policies truly failed to produce strong economic growth. They blame him for letting spending grow too high, and they recognize that the crash was a bad thing, but conservative rhetoric almost uniformly fails to acknowledge that even pre-crash growth under Bush was absolutely miserable.
It’s not real hard for voters to remember that their disgruntlement with GOP economic policies didn’t begin with the crash.
Ezra Klein, guest hosting for the Rachel Maddow Show, has much more about Mitt Romney's inability to explain how his economic plan is different from the unsuccessful plan of George W. Bush (below the fold - begins around the 5:00 minute mark).
As President Bill Clinton said, "Mitt Romney's policies are George W. Bush on steroids."