Politics: Romney campaign to begin unleashing specifics of its budget plan

Published by: Robert Laurie on Monday September 17th, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE - Romney shifts into a more detailed campaign ahead of the debates

If there's been one constant complaint about the Romney campaign, even from conservatives, it's been that the candidate has been light on details.  He says he'll cut the budget, the debt, and government spending, but he's been cagey when it comes to just how he'll do it.  That's about to change.

According to a Monday morning conference call with his senior strategy advisor, Ed Gillespie, Mitt Romney is about to unleash the specifics. “Gov. Romney has a plan to turn the economy around and people are curious about details,” he said. “The same is true for President Obama — we haven’t heard many details from him.”

That's all well and good, but you can't run on "the other guy isn't doing anything either."

It seems Mitt has gotten this message, and over the course of the next few weeks, he and Paul Ryan will be outlining their plan of action. Gillespe says their prescription will “limit spending for programs growing at an uncontrollable rate” by handing things like Medicare back to the states, and “reducing the size of government by 10 percent.”   According to Gillespe, this will save the country $500 Billion per year by the end of Romney's first term.

They'll do this by increasing "the productivity of Washington by reducing federal government employment by 10 percent through attrition, and combine agencies and departments to reduce overhead, and link government compensation to that of the private sector.”  Exactly which agencies will merge or be eliminated is something that will be disseminated in the next few weeks.

"We have a running mate out there filling out specifics and doing so on social media — it’s going to resonate,” Gillespe said of Paul Ryan. Both Romney and Ryan, he says, will have a "renewed emphasis" on specifics which will be communicated in the candidate’s appearances, speeches, papers, and paid advertising.

Gillespe said that Romney will also continue to place focus on the events in the Middle East, because "economics and foreign policy are both important.”

It's impossible to overstate how vital this will be.  Romney is running against a candidate whose only offered plan is more of the same.  Witness last week's announcement of the QE3 stimulus.  Romney and Ryan desperately need to put a positive, growth-oriented plan on the table, and they need to do so now.  Yes it will draw some fire, but it will also offer them the opportunity to place the spotlight on what's not working under the current administration while offering a better path forward. It will also help position themselves ahead of the debates.  

They won't cross the finish line first if their only message is "Obama stinks."  Thankfully, they appear to have figured this out.