The following are my remarks from the Dallas POWER Rally on Saturday, September 11, 2010:
Do you believe that it is a good time to be a Republican?
Are you excited about this November’s election?
Do you believe Americans are unhappy with this economy?
Are you ready to fire Nancy Pelosi?
And they call us the party of “No”?
It is less than two months until the election, and things are looking pretty good for Republicans. Believe me, we shouldn’t be overconfident. But pundits are predicting huge gains in the House; some believe we can win the Senate. It’s possible. It’s a good time to be a Republican. But we have our work cut out for us, especially here in Dallas County. You know the drill: It’s time for all of us to talk, walk, and knock on doors, email, donate, and help get out the vote. But the two words I want you to remember for this particular mid-term election are these: issues and facts.
What is different about this election? In D.C. the Democrats control everything and things are not going well. In Dallas the Democrats have taken control and things are not going well.
In this political situation, it is very tempting to gloat. After all, we knew this would happen, right? We knew that Barack Obama was a disaster waiting to happen. It seemed pretty obvious. And things have gotten even worse than we imagined. It’s hard not to say, “I told you so.”
Did any of you ever believe, in your wildest dreams – or nightmares? - that the United States of America would have a President like Barack Obama? What has come of his promise of Hope and Change?
Yes, he promised hope, but he has not delivered. Americans are feeling more hopeless than hopeful.
He promised change, and he has delivered. In his first 18 months, we have had extraordinary change: higher unemployment, higher national debt, massive government spending, lower GDP, government takeover of private business; ObamaCare, the list goes on and on.
But when it comes to issues, the biggest issue is the economy. James Carville’s campaign mantra, It’s the economy, stupid, has never been more relevant. And the number one issue is this: The Democrats are in control, the Democrats have the votes, The Democrats hold all the cards, and the economy is not recovering. The Democrats told us that unemployment would not rise above 8%; it’s risen to 9.6 %.
Did you hear Obama’s latest plan to create over two million jobs? There’s only one catch, you have to move to China. Instead of the Summer of Recovery, we’ve had the Summer of Relapse.
What are the keys to success this November? Again, two words: Issues and Facts. We have to focus on issues rather than personalities; and we have to state the facts without characterizing them as good or bad. Let the voters decide.
This election season Republicans should calmly, without hyperbole or hysteria, state the facts. Remember the television show Dragnet? Sergeant Joe Friday liked to say, “Just the Facts, Ma’am.” That’s what Republicans need to do: state the facts. Because the facts speak for themselves.
In discussing issues, as Dick Morris says, we don’t need to use adjectives; nouns will work just fine. For instance, as just one example, we don’t really need to talk about the outrageous, ineffective, ill advised, debt-exploding, budget-busting, Pelosi-pet-project funding, Al-Gore inspired, Joe-Biden- gaffe-inducing, Katie-Couric kissed, George-Soros approved, MSNBC promoted, guaranteed-to-bankrupt-your- grandchildren, porkulus, spendulus, stimulus. The word “stimulus” is all we need to say. Only 25% of Americans believe that the stimulus helped the economy.
In fact, Democrats are now being instructed to avoid the word stimulus altogether…they now refer to it as the “S” word.
All a candidate needs to say is, “I voted against the stimulus; my opponent voted for the stimulus.” No further explanation is necessary.
When we use strongly opinionated adjectives, it turns independent voters off. Americans are tired of spin. Less is more. If we state the facts in an objective way, we will wield more influence.
One strategy that Democrats seem to be using is to turn the campaign into a person-to-person comparison rather than an issues-oriented debate. They want to focus on the candidates and their personalities. They know they lose if the campaign is about the economy, stimulus, health care, and jobs. Democrats prefer to reframe the campaign and concentrate on personal biographies and histories, attacking Republicans on past statements or records. Don’t let them do it.
We don’t want to attack their candidates. For instance, we absolutely should not characterize our President as an incompetent, inexperienced, over-his-head, out-of-his-depth, Chicago-style, present-not-voting, lacking-in-leadership-ability, teleprompter-dependent, apologizing-for-America, Reverend-Wright-loving, community-organizing, never-worked-a-day-in-his-life, bowing-to-dictators, misguided academic who fooled the American people with meaningless rhetoric. Don’t do it. It’s just not helpful at this point.
So the key to success this November is to focus on Issues and Facts. No adjectives and no personalities. Say it with me: Issues and Facts.
Remember Ronald Reagan’s debate with Jimmy Carter when Reagan asked, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker for four years. Harry Reid has been Majority Leader for four years. Obama has been President for 18 months. For the last two years Democrats have had complete and total control. And in those two years Americans have steadily lost jobs, lost confidence, and lost hope.
So before this November’s election, Ask everyone you meet: Are you better off now than you were two years ago? Is our country better off? Is our healthcare better off? Is our economy better off?
Republicans have not had the power to stop this Congress. Democrats have the votes to do what they want, and they have done it. It has not worked! That is a fact.
Another Fact: Democrats like to call Republicans the Party of No. For all of you parents out there, I’m sure you agree with me that there is much wisdom in the word “no.” When our children are doing something dangerous, we have to say no. And when we have a radical President and a liberal Congress hijacking our country, it is the Republicans’ job to say, “No.”
The fact is that Republicans have put forth plans for every issue. If anyone doubts that, refer him to gop.gov/solutions. We have an alternative plan for healthcare, energy, jobs, and every other major issue. Representative Paul Ryan has written “Roadmap for America’s Future,” an extensive plan that addresses the problems with federal taxes, Social Security, Medicaid, and the budget. We are not the party of no ideas…we are the party of no more bad ideas.
It’s been proven that elections are won at the precinct level. Neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, door to door. Slick mailers, robocalls, impersonal campaigning is not nearly as effective as personal contact.
So to review, the keys to Victory for Republicans this November are
1) to focus on issues and facts; and
2) ask your fellow Texans the following questions, and I want you all to answer these questions yes or no right now…
Do you think that the $ 800 billion dollar stimulus bill has helped create jobs? Yes or No?
Do you agree with President Obama that we need more stimulus legislation? Yes or No?
Do you think that government should be in charge of our healthcare? Yes or No?
Do you want Congress to pass cap and trade? Yes or No?
Do you want a President who apologizes for America? Yes or No?
Do you believe that President Obama showed effective leadership during the Gulf oil spill crisis? Yes or No?
Do you agree that this has been a “summer of recovery?” Yes or No?
Do you want Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to maintain control of Congress? Yes or No?
Do you think the country is headed in the right direction? Yes or No?
Are you better off than you were two years ago? Yes or No?
Just as we say no to all of these bad ideas, so do the majority of Americans. Fact: The latest Rasmussen Poll shows that 66% of Americans believe that we are on the wrong track. When it comes to bad policy and bad governance, we are proud to be the party of no. Remind voters that Republicans believe in the private sector; not bigger government. We believe in lower taxes and lower spending. And just ask them if they are better off today than they were two years ago. The answer will most likely be a resounding No. And that is just one more fact that the Democrats would rather not talk about.