In addition to a day off from work, Labor Day 2012 is proving to be the perfect time for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and President Obama to test out their economic messages on voters and highlight the differences in their policy proposals regarding labor and the middle class. As the two vie for the all-important middle class voter, this showdown is a preview of what is likely to come all week long, during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Just several days after Romney spoke to the nation, on a national television audience at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, he is following up that speech with more appeals to rebuild the middle class and attacks on President Obama's economic record.
The Romney campaign released the following statement: “Labor Day is a chance to celebrate the strong American work ethic. But for far too many Americans, today is another day of worrying when their next paycheck will come. Over 23 million Americans are struggling for work and job creation has not returned to our economy the way it should. Even President Obama has said we aren’t better off today than we were four years ago. My plan for a stronger middle class will champion small businesses, create millions of good jobs, and build a better future for our country.”
What better time to hammer home on the country lingering unemployment rate than on Labor Day, a holiday celebrating the American worker. Romney makes clear in his statement that he will continue to use his very Reagan-esque campaign theme ("Are you better off than you were four years ago?") as the centerpiece of his campaign (see video below).
On Monday, the campaign is highlighting an Obama speech from 2008, in which he told voters in Charlotte at a campaign rally, "I don't want to wake up in four years to find that more Americans fell out of the middle-class, and more families lost their savings. I don't want to see that our country failed to invest in our ability to compete, our children's future was mortgaged on another mountain of debt, and our financial markets failed to find a firmer footing.”
Romney spokepeople are pointing out that statement as a way to highlight the President's failed legacy. According to Andrea Saul, "In 2008, Candidate Obama promised voters in Charlotte that he would deliver a better future for middle-class families. But four years later, the middle class isn’t better off, with declining incomes, fewer good-paying jobs, and families struggling to make ends meet. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will strengthen the middle class by passing pro-growth policies that create 12 million new jobs and higher take-home pay for families."
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is using Labor Day as a way to underscore the key differences between Obama and Romney's visions for America's middle-class. The campaign has released a new advertisement called "Heavy Load," which will air in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.
According to the campaign: "The President recognizes the heavy burden that the middle-class is carrying. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it. Under Romney’s plan, middle-class families with kids would pay $2,000 more in taxes, to pay for tax cuts for multi-millionaires who would receive an average $250,000 tax cut. President Obama understands the importance of a strong middle-class. He knows that the only way to take this country forward is by investing in an economy built to last. Instead of adding to the burden of the middle-class, President Obama will continue to invest in America’s future, by growing our economy from the middle out."
Here's the video: