Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 19, 2012

Another View: Candidates must offer more than negativity


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---- — Now that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen a running mate, the campaign rhetoric from both sides is likely to expand exponentially.

While Romney has been able to campaign on an "anti-Obama" platform up to now, his selection of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and chair of the House Budget Committee puts much more in play in terms of issues.

We hope both sides can do better than play a game of lesser evils. We hope both sides can clearly articulate policy differences in ways to offer Americans solutions and not just sound bites.

That will be tough in this political environment. Candidates are more and more coached on the right things to say, and at one slip, the other side pounces. ...

If Democrats don't like Ryan's proposals, they should first and foremost offer their own specifics in the same breath they criticize Ryan. Voters are seeing that maintaining Medicare as is will not work. But Democrats seem loathe to offer their own plans.

It's no wonder. Republicans beat them up for the health reform proposal that did cut Medicare spending but not necessarily benefits. It was a simple message that was deceptive if not dishonest.

Voters must demand better. ...

There will be attempts by both sides to ramp up the "anti-message" campaigns. Romney has up to this point been doing just that.

It's hard to think of a specific solution he has offered so far that doesn't resonate back into a Republican talking point.

But Ryan is different. He has a history of being bold and giving constituencies the straight deal, some say to his disadvantage.

On the contrary, Americans are ready for political leaders to offer solutions. They'll judge them accordingly . . .

The Free Press Mankato, Minn.