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It is no exaggeration to say that there are now two Romneys when it comes to economics see article. This Romney offers several welcome alternatives to Mr Obama's policies. He would compel regulators to pay closer attention to the costs they impose. He would take a modest step towards tackling America's unsustainable entitlement programmes by raising the age at which the elderly can collect public-pension and health-care benefits. He would convert the federal contribution to Medicaid, the federal-state health programme for the poor, to a system of block grants.

But there is also a second Romney—the desperate crowd-pleaser who will say anything to win over his audience of the day. This Romney lurches both to the left and the right. On trade, he has promised that on his first day in office he will have China branded a currency manipulator. This is doubly daft. Economically, it is unjustified: as China has allowed the yuan to appreciate, it has become far less undervalued, as evidenced by China's shrunken current-account surplus see article.

Politically, it would needlessly inflame the prickly Chinese during their own leadership transition. For the chief executive of the world's biggest economy to start by picking a fight with the second-biggest would be plain stupid. As troubling as his pandering to the left on trade is his swing to the right on taxes.

Presidential General Election Ads: Obama vs. Romney

Until February, Mr Romney had promised to cut taxes only on corporate profits and investment. That would take the top rate of tax down to levels last seen under Ronald Reagan.

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Mr Romney claims he could pay for this by closing loopholes for the affluent—an excellent reformist idea, but meaningless unless you say which loopholes are going to go. Apart from sketching out a few small ideas to a group of donors, ideas that his aides rapidly downplayed, Mr Romney has said almost nothing about which tax breaks should go. Not a man given to displays of emotion or self-analysis, he offers just a moment's reflection on what he's likely to feel on stage that night. His father, three-time Michigan governor George Romney, sought but failed to win the GOP presidential nomination himself more than four decades ago.

The nomination is a prize he has been seeking for at least six years and through two campaigns, and he heads into the election with some enviable advantages.

Mitt Romney’s Rural Platform

He is the undisputed standard bearer of a Republican cause that claims higher levels of enthusiasm and more money than Democrats. Yet at this moment of triumph, Romney expresses frustration about a campaign that has raised questions about his business practices, his tax returns and his concerns about and connections to the middle class. Republicans hope this year's campaign emulates , when challenger Ronald Reagan in a late surge won over unhappy voters and ousted a vulnerable President Jimmy Carter.

Democrats are more likely to see the election as the model, when a weakened President George W. Bush succeeded in painting challenger John Kerry as an unacceptable alternative.

Mitt Romney Doesn't Understand How Much Of The Middle Class Is Becoming Poor - Business Insider

I thought they might go after me on things that were accurate that I've done wrong, instead of absurd things. He ticks off the examples he has in mind. The White House just keeps stepping lower and lower and lower, and the people of America know this is an important election and they deserve better than they've seen. Vice President Biden, discussing GOP efforts to loosen bank regulations, warned a mixed-race audience in Virginia this month that "they're going to put y'all back in chains.

Romney has spent a lot of time trying to link an ad that we didn't produce to our campaign at the same time he has spent millions airing a discredited welfare reform ad ," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt says when asked to respond to Romney's comments. He says the ad, which accuses Obama of moving to gut work requirements in the welfare law, attacks a more stringent policy than Romney pushed in Massachusetts.

Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to "shore up his base" for the election. He denies he was trying to stoke discredited questions about Obama's birthplace when he said at a Detroit rally Friday that no one had ever asked him for his Michigan birth certificate. The president's team has tried "to minimize me as an individual, to make me a bad person, an unacceptable person," he says.

Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating

Isn't it sad that the focus of the president's campaign, having been president for four years, is to try and attack the personality of the person he's running against as opposed to standing up for his record and his plan for the future? But because his record is so weak and because his plan forward is a continuation of what he's done in the past, the only thing he can do is attack me.

Romney, who is one of those millionaires , is taking a different path.

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He says he's distancing himself from what he calls "a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach. Instead, he is talking about making America a merit-based society, rather than an entitlement society.

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A growing number of Americans are latching onto the idea of income inequality, which prompted thousands of people to participate in Occupy Wall Street -type protests around the nation last fall. About two-thirds of the public believes there are "very strong" or "strong" conflicts between the rich and poor, according to a Pew Research Center report released Tuesday.

That's up 19 percentage points since America's Choice Print Comment.