Over 90 minutes of word volleying and it was clear from the beginning that Governor Mitt Romney quietly maneuvered the whole debate from foreign policy straight back to the economy. The consensus is that Romney is weak on all subjects abroad. Still, how is it possible before all who watched that this former governor was able to gather the attention of so many who tuned in for a debate of the Middle East, mostly Libya, Israel and for some hopefully, Mexico; to include Fast and Furious; then to flip the switch and steer it back to the economy?
Simple, he applied a very old adage; the best defense is a good offense, approach. Romney understood with a presidential demeanor that if he attacked foreign policy of the current president at full throttle, he could subsequently trigger unwanted events should he be elected President of the United States. He also applied a Theodore Roosevelt theory; but instead of speaking softly it is more of Tread lightly and carry a big stick.
His weapon of choice? Take the conversation back to the economy. James Carville might not have had Romney in mind when he made his now famous quote. However, it soon became the catalyst of the whole debate. Romney’s point was how we could possibly make a case abroad when we can’t even fix the problems we have here. Americans in general will not think of issues on foreign policy when they can’t find work.
The use of treading lightly was on the foreign aspect of the debate and the big stick was his expertise with fiscal responsibilities. Romney didn’t have to push and he simply channeled everything in a neat package demonstrating how the American economy affects the world and how they view us.
Talking heads will spin this debate anyway they want, but in the end Romney without saying it told everyone tonight what James Carville has been saying since 1992 “It’s the economy stupid!”
For most of us who look at gas and food prices daily understand the higher those prices rise and the burden that it places on the wallet that come November 6, 2012 that may just be the only issue to be voted on.