Mitt Romney received a double blast from the conservative circular firing squad, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board and The Weekly Standard's BIll Kristol both publicly complained that the candidate is failing to campaign on a vision to boost the economy.
…candidates who live by biography typically lose by it. See President John Kerry. The biography that voters care about is their own, and they want to know how a candidate is going to improve their future. That means offering a larger economic narrative and vision than Mr. Romney has so far provided.
…voters want to hear what Romney is going to do about the economy. He can "speak about" how bad the economy is all he wants—though Americans are already well aware of the economy's problems—but doesn't the content of what Romney has to say matter? What is his economic growth agenda? His deficit reform agenda? His health care reform agenda? His tax reform agenda? His replacement for Dodd-Frank? No need for any of that, I suppose the Romney campaign believes. Just need to keep on "speaking about the economy."
But here's the funny thing about both pieces: neither one offers Romney any ideas to improve the economy.
The best the WSJ editorial board can do is to tack on the usual conservative boilerplate: "[Point] out the differences with specificity on higher taxes, government-run health care, punitive regulation, and the waste of politically-driven government spending."
There's nothing in the boilerplate that's different from what President George W. Bush did in the prior decade, which led to the "worst track record on record" for job creation according to … the Wall Street Journal.
So don't blame Romney that there are no conservative ideas for cleaning up George Bush's mess. Blame a conservative movement unwilling to own up to its mistakes, and come up with new ideas based on lessons learned.