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Romney campaign says it plans to get more specific

September 17, 2012|By Maeve Reston
  • Mitt Romney during a moment of silence as he campaigns in the rain at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio.
Mitt Romney during a moment of silence as he campaigns in the rain at Lake… (Charles Dharapak / AP Photo )

After a series of unflattering stories about Mitt Romney’s recent slide in the polls in key swing states and reports of internal dysfunction within his campaign, Romney senior advisor Ed Gillespie said Monday that the Republican nominee will renew his focus this week on the details of his plans to jump-start the economy and lower the national debt.

“We think the American people are looking forward to hearing how we can turn our economy around; they’re open to hearing our proposals on this front,” Gillespie told reporters during a campaign conference call on Monday. The campaign’s research, he said, shows that voters are looking for specific answers about how Romney’s policies will make their lives better.

Gillespie said voters know Romney has a plan, but would like to know a little bit more about the specifics. “We think there’s a demand out there for that,” he said.

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Still, Gillespie did not outline any new policy prescriptions on the call—instead highlighting debt reduction proposals that Romney has been talking about on the campaign trail for more than a year.

Romney will outline his economic plans, as well as his thoughts on illegal immigration, later Monday during an address to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. Romney is facing a huge deficit among Latino voters that has complicated his efforts to win a number of key states, including Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. (He will campaign in Nevada later this week.)

Despite Romney’s dip in a number of polls on key areas, such as which presidential candidate would do a better job on tax policy, Gillespie argued that President Obama’s post-convention bounce has faded,  citing recent surveys by Rasmussen Reports and Gallup.

“If you look at the swing states around the country, we’re looking at a dead heat virtually everywhere in the target states,” Gillespie said, citing the example of Wisconsin — a state that Obama won by 14 points in 2008. “We’re very optimistic; we’re spreading the playing field. … So we are very much looking forward to talking about the future proposals and how the future will be better under a Romney-Ryan administration.”

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Romney’s pollster acknowledged Monday that the campaign has not done a sufficient job distinguishing his plans for tax cuts from those of Obama. Romney plans across-the-board tax cuts, while Obama would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans.

“I’m not sure that voters really understand the differences between the plans that Romney has and Obama has,” pollster Neil Newhouse said during the conference call Monday, “and I think that’s one thing we’re committed to trying to do moving forward is defining the differences between the two candidates on taxes.”

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