So why are Republicans having trouble winning over the median voter? There are probably lots of interrelated reasons but here is former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer giving his ideas:

Republicans talk policy and Democrats talk people. Republicans can learn a little bit from Democrats on how to make those people connections with our policies.

One could hardly look at (for example) Mitt Romney’s Republican convention speech and plausibly argue that it spent too much time talking policy, but that’s not the biggest problem with Fleischer’s analysis of what went wrong. Here is one piece of the puzzle: Republicans were looked at by too many people as the party of high earner interest group politics. According to the exit poll, fifty-three percent of voters thought Romney’s policies would benefit the rich and only thirty-four percent thought Romney’s policies would benefit the middle-class. Now where would they get an idea like that? I dunno. Maybe it was from people like Ari Fleischer calling for a tax increase on the lower middle-class. Maybe it was the obsessive focus on the job creators who “built that” at the Republican National Convention along with the proposed twenty percent cut in the top marginal income tax rate. Romney’s infamous forty-seven percent crack didn’t come from nowhere. Romney isn’t principled enough to come up with something like that on his own. Quite a few people helped push along the idea that the working poor and lower middle-class were freeloading “lucky duckies.”   Mitt Romney did “talk people” and pretty clearly too.  Other Republicans should learn from his bad example and watch what they say.

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Articles by Pete Spiliakos

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