Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican Convention was long on biography but short on policy. The former Massachusetts governor reminded the national audience about his family’s background and business career, reiterated his critique of President Obama, and promised a better future.
But for a candidate who chose Paul Ryan as his running mate to signal a willingness to take on big challenges, Romney spent precious few — if any — words discussing some of the country’s most pressing problems and even less time explaining how a Romney/Ryan administration would solve them:
— 0 mentions of Financial Reform: Even as millions of Americans struggle with the effects of the Great Recession caused by Wall Street malfeasance and scores of others continue to deal with the fallout of the foreclosure fraud scandal, Romney has said that he will repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, but has yet to detail what, if anything, he would put in its place.
— 0 mentions of Climate Change: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” Romney said to loud laughter. It’s too bad that he and most of the GOP delegates don’t believe in the very real threat of global warming.
— 0 mentions of Immigration: “We are a nation of immigrants,” Romney said, without explaining how he would help the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Romney has not said if he would rescind Obama’s temporary directive permitting young undocumented immigrants to work in the country, though his advisers have suggested that he would.
— 0 mentions of Romneycare: The convention speakers didn’t tackle Romney’s greatest accomplishment as governor, the enactment of universal health care coverage in Massachusetts. Romney promised to repeal Obamacare, but did not say what he would replace it with.
— 0 mentions of Afghanistan or Syria: Romney did not mention how he planned to address the nation’s largest ongoing wars or one of the most important ongoing humanitarian crises on Earth. This may be because the Romney campaign has been unable to meaningfully distinguish its policies from those of the Obama administration on either of these crucial issues.
— 0 mentions of Social Security: Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has proposed Social Security privatization schemes that would have cost retirees dearly if they had been in place during the financial crisis.
— 0 mentions of Veterans: Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Romney has ignored veterans issues. After he spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars last month, veteran advocates said they were “still waiting for Romney to spell out how he would do better than his opponent.” “We haven’t … heard any specific plans yet from Governor Romney or his campaign,” said Bob Wallace, executive director at the Washington office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, echoing the sentiment of many advocates.”
— 1 mention of Medicare: Romney criticized Obama for cutting $716 billion from Medicare — reductions that are also included in Paul Ryan’s budget. But he did not explain his own controversial reforms or mention that the “premium support” plan would force seniors to spend significantly more for health care.
— 1 mention of Housing: Romney did say, “when the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss” — but that’s all. The Federal Reserve bank of New York anticipates that millions of Americans will face foreclosure this year and next, but Romney has yet to release a housing plan, beyond telling homeowners in foreclosure-battered Las Vegas “don’t try and stop the foreclosure process,” just “let it run its course and hit the bottom.”