Days before the election, the business community is abandoning Republican “businessman” Mitt Romney in order to endorse the Democratic incumbent President Obama. These are not ringing endorsements, but rather concern over Romney’s failure to make the math work and his hard turn to the right. In other words, Mitt Romney has finally managed to lose the faith and confidence of the one constituency that he was supposed to have locked up.
The Mayor of New York and the founder/majority owner of Bloomberg News endorsed Obama today. Bloomberg said if the old Mitt Romney were running, he might have voted for him. But given Romney’s tack to the right, Bloomberg is endorsing the President for a second term. He concluded, “If he (Obama) listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.”
“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.
One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.
One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.
One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”
President Obama responded by saying, “I’m honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.
“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time – that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation – together. I look forward to thanking him in person – but for now, he has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger.”
The Economist endorsed Obama saying, “America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill.” Yes, not exactly a ringing endorsement, but then that speaks volumes about Mitt Romney.
They say Obama’s foreign policy could be better, but “Mr Obama has been a safe pair of hands.” They cite his healthcare achievement in addition to their view that his foreign policy is an achievement after spending the entire paragraph citing what’s wrong with it, “Even to a newspaper with no love for big government, the fact that over 40m people had no health coverage in a country as rich as America was a scandal. ‘Obamacare’ will correct that, but Mr Obama did very little to deal with the system’s other flaw—its huge and unaffordable costs.”
They are very unhappy with Obama’s surrender to “left-wing Democrats” — a charge the left would take issue with. They then go on about their doubts, leaving the reader with the impression that they would endorse anyone but Obama. They seem resentful of Obama’s attitudes toward business and capitalism (leaving one with the idea that they watch too much Fox News). They feel Obama has spent his entire campaign attacking business. I say learn to read; Obama didn’t attack business, he attacked greed and failure to pay taxes. But hey. They really can’t stand Obama.
And yet, they can’t endorse Mitt Romney. They write, “Many a Mitt makes a muddle.” Romney’s foreign policy terrifies them (so they are awake). The Economist writes, “But Mr Romney seems too ready to bomb Iran, too uncritically supportive of Israel and cruelly wrong in his belief in “the Palestinians not wanting to see peace”. The bellicosity could start on the first day of his presidency, when he has vowed to list China as a currency manipulator—a pointless provocation to its new leadership that could easily degenerate into a trade war.”
Romney’s math is a problem for The Economist, “Yet far from being the voice of fiscal prudence, Mr Romney wants to start with huge tax cuts (which will disproportionately favour the wealthy), while dramatically increasing defence spending. Together those measures would add $7 trillion to the ten-year deficit.” Here they praise Obama for getting it and shame Romney for being in “the cloud-cuckoo-land of thinking you can do it entirely through spending cuts.” They say that backing business is important, but first you better get macroeconomics. Ouch.
The Economist counts Romney’s tack to the right as his biggest detriment, “(T)he extremism of his party is Mr Romney’s greatest handicap.” And ultimately they decide to go with the “devil we know.”
So, basically, they think Obama is the devil but he is a better devil than wildly right wing Romney who doesn’t even get macroeconomics and whose foreign policy is a threat that could lead immediately to a trade war.
Romney had to stink pretty badly for The Economist to come to this.
Mitt Romney has now managed to lose the one constituency he was supposed to have locked up, even as he fought for the evangelicals and Tea Party of his own base. Forget winning Independents, Romney is losing the business community. Meanwhile, the economic data is showing steady signs of modest improvement.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.