Last Updated:October 24 @ 10:20 pm

Limbaugh: Has Obama Awakened Mitt's Inner Sleeping Giant?

By David Limbaugh

Someone recently asked me what campaign advice I would give Mitt Romney if I were in his inner circle. Let me respond.

First, let me say that though I have been concerned that Romney has not been aggressive enough to date, we have begun to see a different side of him in the past few days. In response to Obama's indefensibly derogatory statements about business, Romney bolted out of his chair and delivered a spirited defense of entrepreneurship and the American spirit. It was an exceedingly welcome and gratifying development and one that I hope signals a new chapter in his unfolding campaign.

Perhaps Romney is more of a counterpuncher than a puncher, but I would respectfully urge him not to wait anymore for Obama to draw first blood. He needs to take the offense and keep Obama so busy defending his abysmal record on so many fronts that he doesn't have time to administer his ad hominem and disgraceful attacks on Romney's experience with Bain Capital, his alleged outsourcing or his rightly earned wealth -- not to mention spurious, despicable charges that he's a felon.

We finally saw a bit of fire in Romney's belly last week, and that will go a long way toward convincing voters that he is authentic and passionate, which will help energize the base.

Igniting the base is critical because this election is likely to be determined by voter intensity as much as it is by any other factor. The more passionately and earnestly Romney presents his message the likelier he is to inspire the base to donate to his campaign, to work the precincts and to show up and vote on Election Day.

Some have said he must stick to the issues and not make this personal against Obama. Well, perhaps that is so, but we shouldn't expect reciprocal respect from Team Obama, which has community organizing in its political DNA.

But though Romney shouldn't get gratuitously personal, he also ought not shy away from hitting Obama very hard on his record for fear it will be deemed to be a personal attack. John McCain made the mistake of soft-pedaling Obama's liberalism in 2008. Mitt must not repeat that mistake, and he must not cower in the face of false accusations that he is being personal or, worse, even racist. Let us not forget that intimidation and propaganda are the community organizers' primary currency.

This means that when Team Obama gets personal and lies about Romney and his record, Romney must answer and call Obama out on (SET ITAL) his (END ITAL) lies and his personal attacks. Pointing out your opponent's lies and personal attacks does not constitute dirty campaigning; it is setting the record straight. Romney should show Obama the same aggressiveness he showed his GOP primary opponents.

But what about the substance of Romney's message?

I believe that his message should be simple, straightforward and essentially two-pronged. He should 1) make this a referendum on Obama's record and 2) present his positive, optimistic and contagiously uplifting vision for reclaiming America.

I have written two books detailing Obama's abominable record, so I won't dwell on it here, except to say that Romney must cover all the bases, clearly and succinctly. Though he certainly must call attention to Obama's permanently anemic economy and jobs record, he also must highlight how dire our national financial predicament is and how close we are to a national financial catastrophe.

He must state clearly that without structural entitlement reform and radical reductions in discretionary spending, America is on the path to bankruptcy and that Obama is obstructing any effort to implement these reforms. At the same time, he must convince voters that he embraces and, if elected, will implement Rep. Paul Ryan's plan -- or some variation of that plan -- to restructure entitlements and get us back on a path to growth. He must also show how Obama is undermining our Constitution, devastating our health care system, destroying our domestic energy sources and undermining our national security -- and the rest.

But the thrust of the campaign message must not be negative; it's not all about numbers, data and statistics. And things don't have to be negative. Though we are at a tipping point, it is not too late to turn things around. America is not over. Our best days can and will lie ahead if we tackle these issues head-on. He must send a message that we will not surrender to the Obama malaise any more than Ronald Reagan capitulated to the Jimmy Carter malaise.

Romney is on his game when he's talking about entrepreneurship, the American dream, American exceptionalism, the free market and the indispensability of American sovereignty and national security. A rising tide does lift all boats; America is still the greatest nation in the history of the world, and we must reclaim American greatness. I believe that Romney can make this case. I believe he must. And happily, I actually believe he will.

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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, "The Great Destroyer," has been on the New York Times best-seller list for six weeks and is now available in stores. Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com.

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9 Comments

  1. smericleComment by smericle
    July 20, 2012 @ 8:08 am

    Romney’s lack of “energizing” his base has less to do with his attacks of Obama and more to do with his lack of a conservative platform, a questionable political and professional history and an apparent social disconnect from 95% of the Republican party. News flash for Mr. Limbaugh, the country is tired of offensive and defensive attacks. We want plans for solving our social programs (read mandatory spending) that has a chance of making it through congress, we want a president that can navigate congress and without alienating the Democrats, that can reduce discretionary spending, and lay down a plan for the economy that will put America back on track for prosperity in a couple of decades. Romney has exhibited none of these plans in any meaningful way, and certainly not a believable public way. When the Republican base is chanting a mantra of “i don’t like him, but he’s a better choice than Obama” my chant is “Houston, we have a problem”. Wake up Mr. Limbaugh, quit encouraging people to get angry at Obama, we should be angry at our party for not fielding a candidate that the party can whole-heartedly support.

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    • srfhouseComment by srfhouse
      July 20, 2012 @ 11:15 am

      Houston, there is a problem and it’s not gonna get fixed with a chimp in the capsule. At least with Mitt there will be intelligence and communication. Let us at least agree that we need to have a manned flight.

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    • joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
      July 20, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

      Frankly, I’m tired of listening to whiners like you complain that Gov. Romney isn’t conservative enough. I didn’t support the Governor is the early going of the Republican primary process but he is who won and he is a heckuva lot better than Obozo.

      Deal with it. Or would you rather have Obozo around for another four years?

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    • BillzillaComment by Billzilla
      July 20, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

      ABO! Anyone but Obama!

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    • WarpfieldComment by Warpfield
      July 23, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      I think we are not seeing any tangible plan from Romney is simply that he probably doesn’t want to show his hand too early. I expect and hope that we will be seeing more after the convention about what he plans to do once he is elected.

      We wouldn’t want him to put forth some excellent ideas, only to have the Obama team re-present the same ideas, now would we?

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  2. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    July 20, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    First of all why hasn’t Obama’s sealed records been brought up in response the chant for releasing his tax return???

    Romney needs to go on the attack. Ignore the Dems’s charges. Responding only keeps the issue in the media. Instead he does need to go on the attack with the never ending list of Obama errors.

    And yes he needs to energize the base and be aware that ALL Republicans are not business owners. He must offer them something. Business and free enterprise is important but pales compared to the other issues….bankrupt government, the economy, excessive entitlement programs, illegal immigration, disregard for our laws, etc.

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    • KAHR50Comment by KAHR50
      July 20, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

      Assuming Mitt has nothing to hide in his tax returns, he can offer to release one year for each of the following Missing Obama Documents – college transcripts, proof of where the money came from for his education, and the list goes on and on.

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  3. gopjonesComment by gopjones
    July 20, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    The entire R party has severe chafe from sitting on the fence. Trying to outspend the D party on entitlements. Keeping in house, the likes of Powell, after supporting the OPPOSITION! Isn’t it a bit of a stretch to claim there really is a R party? At least one with any TRUE distinction?

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  4. joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
    July 20, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    While Gov. Romney must answer Obozo’s lies, he will need the help of every correct thinking American. Please read my comments under Mona Charen’s article in this edition of GOPUSA Eagle for some ideas of how we can all help.

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