Republicans must guard against over-confidence, avoiding the assumption that Mitt Romney can win the election simply by presenting himself as the un-Obama. He also must show the voters he’s the un-Bush. The president slams the GOP by saying that Republicans want to go back to the policies of George W. Bush that led to economic disaster.
Romney should respond by drawing clear distinctions on the all-important issue of spending: Bush, who ran at a time of federal surpluses, promised increased spending, and kept his promise, particularly on education. Romney, however, faces catastrophic deficits and pledges a strict, statutory federal spending cap at 20 percent of GDP. There’s no better way to make clear that Governor Romney not only promises a sharp break with Obama’s policies, but also very different directions from President Bush.