On Saturday May 5, President Obama kicked off his presidential campaign, and it became obvious that Republicans are facing an uphill battle. They will not get a fair shake from the mass media and will have to overcome the publicity given to an incumbent president, such as the recent Obama-Afghan photo op. American Thinker interviewed Republican Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (NC) and Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) to get their thoughts on what the Republican message should be and how to get it across to the American public. Additionally, former CIA Director Michael Hayden weighed in on foreign policy issues.
Governor Daniels, a prominent Republican who is rumored to be a choice for vice president, told American Thinker at the Milken Institute Global Conference that “[m]edia bias is not the only thing Republicans have to live with. We need to tackle the stereotype that we are not empathetic. It is important to reach as many people as you can and make an effort not to drive anyone away. We need to communicate to people that we get it. We understand what is making them fearful and troubling them in their lives and that is also our first concern.”
What does the governor think are the issues that should be emphasized, that alarm many Americans today? First and foremost are the deterioration of the economy and a sense that there is no longer upward mobility. Because of his time limits, Daniels could not discuss his plan in detail, but he did feel that tax rates must be lowered and loopholes have to be taken away. In his book, Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans, Daniels points out that what he did in his state can be applied nationally, by making private-sector job growth a leading goal of governmental policies. He directly commented, “We should be unapologetic for a pro-growth policy. We need to get more people working and have more money coming in to pay off our national bill. The safety net programs should be means-tested. Let’s not send Warren Buffet a pension check. We need to paint a detailed optimistic picture to move back towards the America of promise.”
He noted that although polls show that Americans do not want Social Security and Medicare touched, they also do not expect it to be there or to be a significant part of their retirement. “The mortal enemies of these programs are the people that tell us to just leave them alone. They know in their hearts they are talking BS; it’s just plain mathematics. Let’s not sell Americans short and assume they are gullible and incapable of digesting the simple facts.”