He's made businesses wary of hiring new workers by imposing a costly new healthcare program on employers. He's increased red tape and threatened to raise taxes on small businesses that several analysts say will result in a loss of about 700,000 jobs. And he's denigrated the role of individuals in building their own businesses and promised to punish the most successful among them.
Most importantly, the president has run a campaign devoid of ideas except clever ways to attack his opponent. His operatives -- official and otherwise -- have consistently demonized Mitt Romney as heartless, greedy, and mean. It's wrong when fringe conservatives continue to raise questions about President Obama's birthplace -- but it's even worse when Democratic lawmakers and pro-Obama ads accuse Gov. Romney of causing a woman' death and cheating on his taxes.
As someone who lives in one battleground state and spends significant time in another, I've watched the campaign ad blitz for months. And while both campaigns have spent most of their time and money on negative ads, there's a marked difference in the substance: The Romney ads have attacked the president's record; the Obama ads have attacked the governor's character -- even his basic humanity.
But once most voters got their first real look at Gov. Romney, the Obama message simply didn't jibe with what they saw and heard, which is why the polls started trending toward Romney. The president's record, however, remains as abysmal today as it has over his entire term.
It may have taken voters awhile to figure this out -- they like the president personally and wanted to give him a chance to prove he deserved re-election. But he hasn't given a single, convincing reason why he should be, which is why I believe Americans will vote for genuine change Nov. 6.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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