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Getting personal

"Getting personal" Continued...

Issue: "Dead heat," Sept. 22, 2012

Fueling optimism within the Romney camp are surveys like a recent Fox News poll showing that just 36 percent of independent voters approve of Obama's job performance. "The one thing in our favor is we now have Obama with a four-year track record," said Sonia Stopperich, a convention delegate from Canonsburg, Pa. "His hope and change were abstract. Now his policies are real."

Those policies, speakers reminded delegates in Tampa, include the $831 billion federal stimulus package - the largest one-time expenditure ever by the federal government - that failed to keep unemployment under 8 percent as Obama had promised. Obama the candidate called the nation's $10 trillion national debt "unpatriotic" in 2008 but added $5 trillion in new debt in just one term - by far more than any other president in history. Led by the 2,000-plus pages of the new healthcare law, the Obama administration has imposed an average of 72 regulations on manufacturers each year. The number of major federal regulations expected to have an economic impact of more than $100 million has gone from 27 per year under President Bill Clinton to 44 per year under Obama.

"We have to take these compelling truths to our neighbors and ask them, 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?'" said delegate Jim MacEachern, of Derry, N.H. It's a question the Romney campaign hopes will get asked thousands of times in every battleground state over the next two months.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee is WORLD's Washington Bureau chief. As a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he was embedded with a National Guard unit in Iraq. He also once worked in the press office of Sen. Lamar Alexander.

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